Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Founder of New Zealand’s first women’s refuge

Founder of New Zealand’s first women’s refuge

At just 21 years of age, Rosemary Howard co-founded the first women's refuge in Christchurch, which was quickly inundated with victims of domestic abuse, uncovering a then little-recognised problem. It was also the first women’s refuge in New Zealand and the third in the Western world.

Howard will speak about her experiences - how the first women’s refuge started, what happened as a result of lifting the lid on domestic violence and the myths surrounding that violence that kept women enslaved – at the Ara City Campus library on 17 October at 12 noon.

Studying a degree in Sociology, English and History with minor focus on Religious Studies, Philosophy and Psychology, Howard soaked up the theory that backed her ideas and further fired her activism. “The Sociology programme was amazing with its focus on race relations, human ecology, deviant behaviour, role of women… a great combination for my developing passion for social justice and social activism,” she says.

“As a university student in the early ‘70’s I became active in the women’s liberation movement. Issues such as equal pay, childcare and equal rights for women were a big focus.”

Discovering an alternative lifestyle gave her the freedom to pursue many causes. “I moved into an alternative way of life as part of a group who established Chippenham/Mansfield Community…. There were 12 couples and six kids in three properties which we purchased - two adjoining houses in Merivale and a farm at Oxford. Merivale was aghast at this urban commune in their midst, with its colourful characters and brightly clothed children. However, this lifestyle of shared parenting and low cost of living provided a great basis for many kinds of community activities and for my radical feminist political activity.

“My focus became dedicated to women’s right to safe abortion and raising awareness of domestic violence with the establishment of the first women’s refuge shelter for women and children in New Zealand in 1973 in Kilmore Street Christchurch.”

The refuge started as a women’s meeting and discussion place, but the need for a shelter quickly arose as more and more women turned up looking for a safe haven from abusive partners.
Howard was incredibly productive and busy during this period, but the pace and pressure of looking after vulnerable women with few resources was not sustainable.

“I was a very busy young mum and political activist throughout the 70’s, burning out from my activities. I was hungry for contact with women in the US who were doing amazing things, writing amazing books and challenging the patriarchy. So I left New Zealand and travelled extensively.”

Howard’s work lives on. The refuge became Aviva in 2013, which still provides essential support to women.

Read about the 40th anniversary of Women’s Refuge http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8658430/Women-exposed-dark-underside-of-NZ

Watch Rosemary speak at the 40th anniversary of Christchurch Women’s Refuge about living communally to help facilitate social change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfgwINC3PzE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Our Weird Ways Of Funding Care For The Dying


National Party leader Judith Collins thinks the government’s traffic light system for emerging from Covid lockdowns is “confusing.” Perhaps she could be looking in the mirror because in recent weeks, National has hardly been a model of crystalline clarity. On RNZ this morning Collins was calling for the scrapping of all vaccine certificates and mandates once we hit 90% double dose vaccination. Yet in recent weeks, Chris Bishop, National’s Covid spokesperson has been indicating that vaccine certificates and employment mandates will be, and should be, part of our new Covid landscape... More>>

Government: Backs Business To Vaccinate Workforces


The Government is introducing a range of measures to help protect workplaces and workers from COVID-19, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood announced today.
“We’ve heard the calls from employers and employees to provide certainty on what roles need to be done by vaccinated workers under the COVID-19 Protection Framework... More>>

ALSO:





 
 

Three Waters: Government To Protect Vital Public Water Services For Future Generations
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today confirmed the Government will create four publicly owned water entities to ensure every New Zealander has access to affordable, long-lasting drinking, waste and storm water infrastructure... More>>

ALSO:



Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>

ALSO:



Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels