November’s meeting was a very informative one with an address by Biljit Kaur a young women from the Punjab region of India talking about her upbringing in a typical Indian family but how her Father and Grandfather realised the importance of educating daughters and she was sent to English school and when times were hard her education there was continued in preference to her brother’s.
She emigrated first to Australia and then New Zealand and talked about her problems but how she also did further education. She eventually got a good job in New Zealand and after 7 years New Zealand residency. She decided to go back to India for a visit where she met and married this man who appeared to be loving and respectful and treated her well.
He came back to New Zealand with her and after 3 years got New Zealand residency Life changed he sent for his Mother and sister to join them in New Zealand. Not only was she expected to work but to wait on his Mother doing all the cooking and cleaning etc. Her husband’s attitude to her also changed and he started treating her badly. The marriage broke down and they separated.
She discovered that he had divorced her saying that he could not trace her so she was never served divorce papers and found out later when he returned from India with a new wife. After first of all feeling unwanted and not a worthy person she started eating and returning to work. Whilst trying to find out what could be done to rectify the fact that she could be divorced by her husband without her knowledge because he swore that her could not trace her despite the fact that she was still working in the same place and he knew where that was, she became involved with the Labour Party and became their candidate for Hunua.