100 years of cam­paign­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA McLEAY

Last week, as Mata­mata ladies gath­ered with a cup of tea and a scone, their thoughts rested with women and chil­dren around the world in need of sup­port.

Last Wed­nes­day was the 100-year an­niver­sary of In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day, which was marked by the Mata­mata branch of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Women at Firth Tower.

Joan Stan­ley said In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day was a time to stop and think about women across the globe.

‘‘We are cel­e­brat­ing the past, the present and look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture of women,’’ Mrs Stan­ley said.

A theme is given to each year and 2011 will see many women band to­gether with the goal of equal­is­ing ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing, science and tech­nol­ogy to give a path­way to de­cent work for women.

More than 41 mil­lion girls in­ter­na­tion­ally are de­nied a pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion – a statis­tic even the women in Mata­mata hope to help change.

‘‘ It is about or­di­nary women do­ing or­di­nary things but re­ally those things are ex­tra­or­di­nary,’’ Mrs Stan­ley said.

The day was cel­e­brated with a morn­ing tea.

Many of the ladies read out sto­ries of women strug­gling in dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

Na­tional Coun­cil of Women pres­i­dent Mary McIn­tyre has rep­re­sented the equal­ity of women for many years and said the group does its best to help women and chil­dren in any way pos­si­ble.

‘‘You think about the women in other parts of the world who don’t have the ad­van­tages we do and want to help them.’’

The ladies were taken back through the his­tory of Mata­mata women and of Firth Tower.

Mrs Stan­ley said women in Mata­mata had played a sig­nif­i­cant role over the past 100 years, from the ar­rival of the Maori women in Wa­haroa, to the first women mis­sion­ar­ies and later the pi­o­neers who soon formed a small com­mu­nity.

A ma­jor­ity of Mata­mata’s rich his­tory is stored away at Firth Tower – fam­i­lies, wed­dings, birthdays and news­pa­pers that back date to 1918.

In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day started in 1911 when in­equal­ity spurred many women to be more vo­cal and ac­tive in cam­paign­ing for change. The day was first hon­oured in Aus­tria, Den­mark, Ger­many and Switzer­land on March 19, where more than one mil­lion men and women ral­lied.

Chat­ting away: Mau­reen Adams, right, talks to her friend Mil­dred Madill over a muf­fin at the In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day cel­e­bra­tions at Firth Tower. Recital: Eu­nice Al­ger reads out a story about women strug­gling in dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.