Spectrum 995. Far-out and feminist

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Tono kōrero mai

Deborah Nation looks back at the 1977 Christchurch United Womens Convention with some of the key players, including Sister Pauline O'Reagan, Alison Cooper, Nedra Johnson, Dr Jane Chatwin and Jenny Heal.
It was a time of change, choice and chances and a controversy raged over the presence of male reporters at the conference.

[Includes archival sound recordings made at the Convention in 1977 and several musical excerpts of feminists songs.]

Pauline O'Reagan recalls working with solo mothers, who she says were persecuted during the1970s. She remembers morning teas during the convention with angry, radical feminist Rape Crisis workers next to demure Country Women's Institute members.

Jenny Heal recalls she was running Centrepoint, a women's centre in Cathedral Square, which had about 3,000 paid members. She says it was a women's club and the membership was quite conservative and elderly, but they socialised well with more feminist visitors from the Convention and some took part in workshops.

An unidentified woman reflects on how much society has changed for women in the 20 years since the Convention. She says the workshop on guilt was incredibly popular.

Women comment on how men perceived the Convention - some were supportive, but the media seized on the eviction of a male reporter. The reporter in question, John Bishop tells his side of the story. He says a group of women started harrassing him and saying he should leave, while other women defended him. He eventually left voluntarily.

A woman recalls sexist media coverage of the first United Women's Convention in Auckland - which lead to the decision to only invite female reporters.

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Year 1998

Reference number 25006

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits Nation, Deborah, Producer
O'Regan, Pauline, 1922-2019, Interviewee
COOPER, Alison, Interviewee
JOHNSON, Nedra, Interviewee
CHATWIN, Jane, Interviewee
HEAL, Jenny, Interviewee
BISHOP, John, Interviewee

Duration 00:26:54

Date 08 Mar 1998