Milestones: World firsts for women

New Zealand can boast of many different global "firsts" for women. Here are just a few:

1893: All adult women citizens (including Māori) gained the right to vote in national elections, the first self-governing country in the world to do so. 

1902: Ellen Dougherty of Wellington, 58, was the first name on the registered nurse roll - New Zealand was the first country to pass legislation on the registration of nurses. 

1929: Phoebe Myers of Wellington, 57, was the first woman to represent her country at the League of Nations. 

1934: Jean Batten of Rotorua, 35, was the first woman to achieve a solo flight from England to Australia and back again; her 1936 flight from England to Brazil was a first for women aviators and set a record for the fastest crossing of the South Atlantic Ocean. 

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The long and winding road: the slippery slope to precarity for single older women.

Irene Ryan, AUT
Irene Ryan

On Monday, 8th April, the NCWNZ Auckland Branch invited Dr Irene Ryan to give an overview of a research project she and Branch Chair, Associate Professor, Barbara Myers are working on exploring the life stories of older, single women, aged 50-70 years. Irene began with a story that had provided the impetus for the research. Similar stories resonate today: groups of seemingly ‘invisible single women’, labelled as older, insecure, and struggling, despite many still being in full time employment.

Barbara Myers, Auckland NCWNZ Chair
Barbara Myer

The wider study sought to examine how the gendering of social class intersects with ageing, producing lines of privilege and (dis)advantage for single, employed, older women, who over time experience precarity at multiple levels of life’s domains. Irene outlined how the research, unfortunately hindered by COVID and its aftermath, is significant because it shifts beyond the usual ‘snapshot’ chronological age approach. The study considers the biographical dimension of a life course of gendered paid and unpaid work experiences, resources accrued (or not) and the challenges, which have rarely been heard. It does so by looking at ageing (not just chronological age), gendering (which refers to the process of socialisation according to the dominant gender norms), overlaid by social class (defined as the intersection of two-axis: socio-economic power and occupation), to show how identity markers and their boundaries are not fixed and how their social and political meanings vary over time.

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Chart: 2024 King’s Birthday honours

The first King’s Birthday list awarded 176 honours. Men received 52% with 91, women received 48% with 85. Men and women equally received the higher awards (ONZ to MNZM). Double the number of awards (30) were given for sports related activities than for arts related activities (15).

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Deborah Frances-White and The Guilty Feminist podcast

Deborah Frances-White event 2024

NCWNZ members have had a busy week hanging out with Deborah Frances-White, host of the internationally acclaimed The Guilty Feminist podcast. They did live shows in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. 

Read about this award-winning podcast at the website:

The list of tour dates for The Guilty Feminist Down Under 2024 series and panelists can be found here:

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Eid Mubarak celebration 2024

Eid Mubarak (Arabic: عِيد مُبَارَك‎ ʿīd mubārak) is an Arabic phrase that means “Blessed feast/festival.” The term is used by Muslims all over the world as a greeting to celebrate Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha (which is in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah).

Photo of Eid Mubarak banner

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How to recognise fake email messages from NCWNZ addresses

Kia ora koutou,

Some of our NCWNZ email addresses have been the target of spoofing attacks in the past year, and we'd like to give you some tips on how to recognise these phishing attempts and what to do about them.

A short tutorial called "How to recognize phishing and spoofing emails" is now available for our members to use as a resource. This tutorial can help you recognise these fraudulent emails and some actions you can take to avoid falling victim to them.

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Katie steps in for president's kōrero

Katie Thomas - Board member 2024Tēnā tātou katoa,

A different face for you in this edition of The Circular as I step in to kōrero for our President, Suzanne.

My name is Katie Thomas and I am the current Aspiring Board Member for NCWNZ. I have been involved in a number of network led organisations across the public sector for a decade now, all with a focus on working towards gender equality in Aoteroa New Zealand so playing a role within NCWNZ is a natural fit for me! It was a huge honour to be asked to put my name forward for this role in 2023 and I have been warmly welcomed into the fold by my fellow Board Members as well as the amazing volunteers from our Hubs and Branches that I have been able to meet and work with so far. I look forward to engaging with many more of our volunteers as we work together in the future.

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Education Report by Young-Ae Ha Education Advisor of ICW

Young-Ae Ha, ICW Education AdvisorThe Education Action Hub recently received a paper forwarded from the International Council of Women (ICW). The paper was written by Young-Ae Ha PhD  who is the Education Advisor of ICW and professor at Humanitas College of Kyung Hee University of Korea.

Dr Young-Ae Ha urged us to study the ideologies of Young Seek Chou (1921-2016) of Korea and Daisaku Ikeda (1928-2023) of Japan. Both men founded universities in their respective countries, advocating the importance of “education for human society and peace.”

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International Women's Day 2024 webinar promoting a Gender Equal NZ

This International Women's Day 2024, the Wellington Branch of the National Council of Women NZ held the Gender Equal NZ Speaker Series. The GENZ Conf was a one-day virtual event for rangatahi to design their gender equal future for Aotearoa and think about how to achieve it.

IWD 2024 webinar from Wellington branch
A screenshot from the Gender Equal NZ Speaker Series: IWD 2024 recording.
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CSW68 report from the NZ NGO delegate

CSW68 in New York 2024
Members of the New Zealand delegation before the CSW68 closing ceremony.

CSW68 was a jam-packed, eye-opening, invaluable opportunity to learn about the complexities of foreign policy, the inner workings of the United Nations, and how it all intersects with the global mission to achieve gender equality.

A key highlight for Wellington Branch President Aleisha Amohia, the NGO delegate to the New Zealand Government delegation for CSW68, was having quality time and conversation with the talented, passionate NGO representatives from Aotearoa. It was also a blessing to spend so much time in the magic of New York City.

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