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Feminist History of Aotearoa New Zealand

Crucial dates that show the impact of feminism in Aotearoa

1971  Establishment of lobby for choice over abortion, which was illegal.

1972  Gay liberation founded by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku

1972  First steps of Equal Pay Act, enabled the elimination of gender discrimination in remuneration.

1972  Feminist magazine Broadsheet, ran until 1997.

1973  DPB set up for all parents raising dependent children without the support of a partner

1974  Committee on Women founded. 1984 became Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Purpose: advise Government on impact of policies on women.

1977    Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act passed, legalising abortion in some circumstances.

1970’s Refuges began; by 1981, there was the National Collective of Women’s Refuges, by 1984 had Government funding.

1978  Waikato University established the first academic women.

1980  Women’s Gallery opened.

1982  Domestic Protection Act provided non-molestation and non-violence orders.

1982  New Women’s Press established – first publishing company with only women authors.

1984  NZ Women’s Studies Association established.

1986  National Collective of Rape Crisis set up, which provided support for women and child survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

1988  Yellow Pencils: Contemporary Poetry by NZ Women published. Michele Leggot, ed.

1989  Sylvia Cartwright became first female Chief Justice.

1989  Where did she come from? NZ Women Novelists by Heather Roberts.

1993  New Zealand Women Artists: a survey of 150 years by Anne Kirker.

1996  Domestic Violence Act, with emphasis on safety of victims, came into force.

2001  Property Amendment Act passed, providing women with 50% of couple’s property.

2002  Paid Parental Leave Act – 12 weeks paid parental leave.

2004  Civil Union Act, recognising the union of both different and same-sex couples.


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