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           Home >  Community  > New Zealand Women  :

The Society For Research On Women And The New Horizons For Women Trust
Dorothy - 18/8/00

Back in 1967 it seemed that there was no research being done on women and their needs. To foster research on women the Society for Research on Women (SROW) was formed in New Zealand. Branches were developed in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

SROW encouraged women to write papers on their research on women. The first landmark study was on "Urban Women" and was particularly noteworthy because its findings were based on a representative sample of women taken from the whole country, Over the last thirty years there have been many research reports including such topics as "Women and Money", "Women and Unemployment" and "Mothers and Daughters". SROW published these in book form, sold them and reinvested the profits.

By 2000 the Wellington and Canterbury branches had ceased having regular meetings. The Canterbury branch decided to concentrate the group's energy on one major event each year and to hold a one-day annual symposium.

Dame Kath
Margaret Sweet (right) presents the cheque for $35,000 to Dame Cath Tizard. On the left Valerie Rhodes, President of the Trust.
Photo source Margaret Sweet
When they ceased their other activities in 1999 the Canterbury and Wellington branches donated altogether $35,000 from their funds to the New Horizons for Women Trust (NHWT).

Outside the Square - a one day symposium featuring twenty six presenters
'Outside the Square' is the title of the one-day symposium being organised by SROW in Christchurch on 30 September 2000.

Choose the symposia closest to your interests
Morning programme

After a champagne breakfast keynote speaker, Erin Baker, will speak on "Motivation and Breaking Down Barriers", followed by three concurrent symposia on:

  1. Careers, Business and Politics
  2. Health/Mental Health
  3. Personal Identity

Afternoon programme
A Keynote speaker, Jane Prichard, speaking on "Reviewing the status of New Zealand women" and Julie Grenfell on "The New Horizons for Women Trust", are followed by four concurrent symposia on:

  1. Women and Careers
  2. Value and Meaning outside the paid workforce
  3. Women and the Environment
  4. Women and Social Issues - a pot-pourri of papers
It concludes with Jo Drayton speaking on "Edith Collier: Her life and work", and a social hour.

The twenty six top presenters will cover a wide range of topics, so there will be papers to interest women of all ages.

Enrol now for $35.00
For enrolment or more information contact Libby.
Phone (03) 337 4136
Email libpaul@globe.net.co.nz

The New Horizons for Women Trust (NHWT)
This Trust was established to give to women Research Awards and Second Chance and Training Awards. The main groups involved in founding NHWT were SROW and New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs (BPW). On the Board of the Trust are nominees from women's groups such as the National Council of Women, the Maori Women's Welfare League, the New Zealand Federation of University Women, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Zonta International District 16, and YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand.

Second Chance and Training Awards
The Second Chance and Training Awards are to give support and encouragement to women wanting to undertake formal education in order to improve their lives and the lives of their children. The Trust made its first two of these awards in 1993. Since then a number of awards have been made each year.

Rita King award
Each year an award is given in the name of Rita King OBE who belonged to BPW for forty years and was a foundation member of SROW. As a chartered accountant in the 1940s and 50s Rita shared women's problems of inequality in the work place. In the 1960s she worked to improve women's access to education and training and to promote equal pay and opportunity. She had a major input into the Equal Pay Act 1972. Rita's family have given generously to the Second Chance Awards. The Rita King Award is given to a woman who did not obtain a qualification when younger.

What type of study do winners of Second Chance Awards undertake?
Winners of these awards have used the funding for widely varied courses, such as Alcohol and Drug Counselling, furniture making, a Bachelor of Nursing, social work, Community Skills Development Maori Course, media arts, teaching people with disabilities, family therapy through psychodrama, Maori Studies and a law degree.

Winners of Research Awards
The first winner of the research award in 1993 was Jo Butler who was researching the effects of attending the New Mother Support Groups Incorporated. Jo who is a sole mother with a young daughter attended the group herself and reported on the involvement of the members in the core groups and the bicultural focus of the organisation.

Other winners have worked on research into varied topics ranging from repetitive 'yo-yo' dieting, to gender bias in industry training organisations, and from Maori women's views and concerns related to the teaching of health in Kura Kaupapa schools, to the impact of the removal of trade tariffs on women working within the clothing industry.

The social policy implications of adolescent pregnancy
Barbara Collins won a Research Award in 1999. She explains the nature of her research and how the award has assisted her.

"My thesis is on the social policy implications of adolescent pregnancy. I am seeking to identify and analyse a range of discourses on adolescent pregnancy and to consider the implications of these for the development of social policies to present and respond to this issue. I have had a long standing interest in adolescent pregnancy through my employment as a high school teacher, and more recently as a policy analyst in government agencies.

"The research area is significant because New Zealand has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in OECD. Each year in New Zealand approximately 7,500 teenagers become pregnant and over 4,000 of these give birth. An extensive literature documents a range of negative outcomes for both the adolescent mother and her child. These include health risks, lower levels of education, reduced employment opportunities and welfare dependency. For many young women these are an extension of life experiences associated with poverty.

"I left full-time paid employment to undertake my PhD, and the award from the Trust has been a helpful contribution to meeting the costs involved with my research. The Award has also enabled me to attend the Pacific Rim Conference of the International Association for Adolescent Health in Christchurch where I presented a paper entitled "Sexual health legislation and young people's rights in New Zealand". An added bonus has been the interest and encouragement of Trust members, many of whom are also involved in research activities that seek to improve women's lives. "

Assistance available for women for research or education
NHWT clearly offers opportunities of assistance for women researching topics that affect women's lives and women seeking a second chance at an educational qualification. The awards are each up to $2,000 in both categories.

For more information and official application forms
Email allison.kirkman@vuw.ac.nz
or write to PO Box 12 1498, Wellington 6038

If you are able to support NHWT the Trust would welcome your donation.

Check out their website

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