By Linda Bryder
Protecting the background of the Plunket Society from 1907 to the current day, this e-book is prepared round 3 dominant subject matters that give a contribution either to foreign historiography and to the social historical past of latest Zealand. those issues are the combined financial system of welfare, maternal and little one future health, and motherhood and parenting. mentioned intimately is how jointly those 3 strands shape a big contribution to New Zealand's social background. particularly, the general public function of girls as welfare prone, maternal and baby healthiness provision, and parenting roles and practices are tested. An in-depth examine of the voluntary welfare method, this publication can be of curiosity to welfare historians, women's stories historians, social historians of medication, and govt coverage makers.
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Extra info for A Voice for Mothers: The Plunket Society and Infant Welfare
The central council established in 1917 comprised representatives from around the country but with an executive based in Dunedin, and a paid secretary. 4 In September 1917 the council wrote to the government, asking that Truby King be released from duties in order to respond to the request to render ‘National and Patriotic service’ in Britain. 5 It has been noted that Plunket attracted a large number of middle-class women. There may have been certain social expectations that women become involved in local voluntary work: it probably enhanced their social status.
Here volunteers are doing Plunket washing in Armagh Street, Christchurch, during the 1918 influenza epidemic. 11 Involvement in Plunket was more than a social activity: it meant a considerable investment in time, energy and even resources. Some felt drawn to the work through their own experiences as mothers. 14 Most of the committee members began their involvement once they had started a family, though there were some notable exceptions. Neither Jessie Rhodes nor Annie McVicar had children, yet both were long-serving Plunket committee members.
94 Maternalists take charge With a wide public and political appreciation of the importance of ‘infant life preservation’, and an apparently clear solution to the problem, the responsibility for the infant welfare movement was soon picked up, in New Zealand as elsewhere, by middle-class women. 95 In New Zealand, at an enthusiastic public gathering at the Dunedin Town Hall on 14 May 1907, it was decided to form a society to continue the work done by Truby King and McKinnon. King declared that ‘the Society’s work might now be very well left to the ladies.