Awards for Positive Images of Rural Women

6 July 1998

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs have combined to offer an award each for the newspaper article and photo (published since 1 October 1997) which best portray the real work of rural women.

The annual awards are to mark International Rural Women’s Day on October 15, and will be presented on that day by the Prime Minister and Minister of Women’s Affairs Rt Hon. Jenny Shipley at a function at the Beehive.

"The image of rural women as portrayed in the media does not accurately reflect the contribution they make either to farms or to rural communities," said MAF’s Manager of Rural Policy Dr Ann Pomeroy.

"We acknowledge that most rural publications are not overtly sexist, in that they don’t carry articles or photos which denigrate women, it is just that they don’t carry many articles about women at all. Rural women tend to be less visible than they should be, or are portrayed in traditional domestic and support roles."

Dr Pomeroy said the aim of the Rural Women’s Day Photo and Journalism Awards was to encourage positive stories and photos of rural women and the work they do, such as running farms and managing rural businesses.

"For example, more than half of the farms in New Zealand have at least one female owner, yet their efforts remain nearly invisible," she said.

Air New Zealand Business Travel has kindly donated an Air New Zealand Great Mystery Break weekend travel and accommodation package for two within New Zealand for the winners of the two awards.

The awards will be judged by Associate Minister of Women’s Affairs Deborah Morris, the New Zealand Federated Farmers Executive Director, Policy Catherine Petrey, the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Women’s Affair Judy Lawrence, and the Director of Corporate Communications of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Debbie Gee. Entries close on 1 October.

Media inquires to:

Debbie Gee, Director, Corporate Communications, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (04)474 4258


Terms of Reference for the Judges of Rural Women’s Day Photo and Journalism Awards

  1. Article or photo must have been published in a bona fide, wide circulation newspaper or magazine (as opposed to a limited or closed circulation newsletters), particularly specialist rural newspapers, and submitted before the closing date of 1 October 1998.
  2. The subject of the article/photo is the business activities of women who live on farms or in a rural/minor urban area (i.e. is living in a place with fewer than 10,000 people).
  3. The aim is to get people to think beyond the traditional roles undertaken by women, so the articles/photos should not focus on these but on the work they do to run a farm or manage a business. Supporting (background) information can acknowledge the multiple tasks women undertake.
  4. On the other hand, there are many activities which women undertake which, while traditional, can be presented in a newsworthy way which demonstrates the value of "women’s work" to the industry. For example, the work which rural/farm/forestry women do to support those in financial (or other) hardship, and the work they do to rebuild communities (e.g. after the closure of a local school).
  5. We are not trying to build an impossible superwoman stereotype, so stories which carry information about, for example, the household work which husbands and partners carry out to support the business activities of the women will also be eligible.
  6. The photos should present a picture of the business/farm activities women undertake. They must be genuine (not models dressed for a photo shoot), positive, and comply with Occupational Safety and Health requirements (e.g. be wearing a helmet if on a motorbike).
  7. The judges will be looking for photos of women undertaking unusual activities (i.e. not the usual photos of women feeding small animals) as well as pictures of traditional tasks presented in unusual ways.

Entries should be sent to Debbie Gee, Director Corporate Communications, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, PO Box 2526, or Fax 474 4244 by 5pm on 1 October 1998.



Last Updated: 09 September 2010

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