Helen Wilson - The Status Of Women

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Tono kōrero mai

This radio programme features a talk by Helen Wilson O.B.E. author of "My First 80 Years", who was also an early leader of the Women's Division of Federated Farmers. [Exact recording date unknown, but early 1950s.]

Mrs Wilson is introduced by an unidentified female broadcaster. She talks first about the circumstances surrounding women getting the vote, and the aspersions cast by those who belittled the idea of women being allowed to vote.

She goes on to give a brief history of the social expectations of women and their low status under English law. She describes women as having an unjust history of being "chattels of men." She cites the English case of Lady Norton, who was a victim of English law before the Married Women's Property Act was passed.

She talks about the agitation for women's franchise and the Women's Rights Committee. She talks about the extreme lengths the suffragettes had to go to in Britain but says in New Zealand, a procession marching through Wellington with a banner, "Down with Men" was the summit of excess of the suffrage campaign in this country.

She quotes Sir James Allen's comment from Parliament, opposing female occupation of parliamentary seats, and Sir John Hall's support of it. She says Mr Seddon was very conservative with regard to women.

She recalls the first meetings of women's organisations in New Zealand, with some reference to the Women's Division of the Farmer's Union.

She ends by talking about her vision for the future of women in New Zealand and working for the benefit of all in society.

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Reference number 32941

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Wilson, Helen Mary 1869-1957, Speaker/Kaikōrero
New Zealand Broadcasting Service (estab. 1946, closed 1962), Broadcaster

Duration 00:28:45

Date [1950s]

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