31 Jul 2015

Rural Women 'as relevant today'

10:24 am on 31 July 2015

In 90 years, Rural Women New Zealand has grown to a 2700-strong organisation but many of the issues it works on have remained the same.

In July 1925, Florence Polson became the first head of the women's division of the forerunner of Federated Farmers.

Women's Division Farmers Union was driven by concerns about health and the effects of isolation for women living on farms.

Today's Rural Women New Zealand president, Wendy McGowan, said those concerns remained a key focus for the group.

Ms McGown said mental well-being, family violence, access to adult learning opportunities and biosecurity were just some of the other issues.

"I think it's as relevant today as it was then," she said.

"Today we have loneliness still in rural communities, perhaps a little bit different to those days where they just didn't have the ability to go from one place to the other it was difficult, today with cars people just drive past their neighbours.

Ms McGowan says the organisation advocates for rural women's needs at a local and central government level.