Author(s): Kay Morris Matthews
They were expected to be wives and mothers. Instead, they challenged the traditional domestic roles of the time to gain a higher education for themselves and to carve out new careers and independent lifestyles.
As teachers, they went on to influence the pathways of a new generation of women in New Zealand.
This is the story of how higher education has profoundly changed the pattern of women's lives in New Zealand over the past 150 years. It is the story of a surprisingly large number of women who managed to achieve an academic education, and of those who, taught by those early graduates, became the next wave of educated women.
Kay Morris Matthews weaves together three themes - access to institutions, beliefs about what young women should and should not learn, and the impact of education on women's life choices - to trace the development of higher education for women in New Zealand. She shows how political, cultural, social and economic conditions shaped their educational choices. Based on over 10 years of research, In Their Own Right brings these themes to life through the unsung story of Maori girls' schooling and the stories of individual women whose remarkable educational journeys challenged expectations and influenced others.