Women’s War

23 Feb 2018 – 19 May 2018

While men suffered ghastly atrocities on the battlefields, the women of New Zealand faced the realities of the First World War in myriad ways. A short audio-visual show and display of war-era women’s clothing,  Women’s War examines the different types of experiences women at home and further afield faced during the First World War. Women’s attitudes toward the conflict were as diverse as their experiences, and giving voice to their thoughts makes it clear that they did not always agree.

Everyone was called upon to show their support for the war – girls gave up their educations to tend to family farms, while some women volunteered by knitting socks for soldiers. Nurses fought to travel to front lines to tend to the sick and wounded, while others challenged the status-quo by pioneering campaigns on issues like venereal disease.

For women in Europe, the war pushed them into roles previously dominated by men. Living away from home and earning their own wages gave them newfound freedom and independence, inadvertently loosening their gender-imposed shackles.

As attitudes shifted, so did hemlines, and so the clothing that women wore during this period tells a story in itself. Recreations of outfits worn by six types of war women – patriotic, supportive family, nurses, entertainers, independent workers and pioneers – will be on display to help bring to life these women’s voices.

To see Women’s War and book a guided tour of The Great War Exhibition, please click here.

Women’s War is created by Story Inc. and Dusk, and funded by the Lottery Grants Board. The sixth of seven touring exhibitions, the show gives The Great War Exhibition a chance to tell the lesser-known stories the First World War. Women’s War runs from 23 February to 19 May 2018. (Opening and closing dates may be subject to change).

Institutions interested in hosting these First World War-themed touring exhibitions can contact The Great War Exhibition by email, info@GreatWarExhibition.nz