Women’s Voices is an oral history project, created by the Christchurch Branch of the National Council of Women of New Zealand and completed in collaboration with UC QuakeStudies, PACIFICA and the Otautahi Maori Women’s Welfare League. All the data generated by the project, information about the research process and reports on findings are available at https://quakestudies.canterbury.ac.nz/store/collection/228
Volunteers interviewed other women about their earthquake experiences and also provided brief profiles that include their own quake stories. The project has generated an archive of stories of women of different ages, backgrounds, and life experiences, who come from different areas in Christchurch and Canterbury. Some of these stories are available on UC CEISMIC with the permission of the research participants.
The mass media has often focused on heroic stories of rescue, the comments of decision makers, or the quake ‘victims’. This research generated women’s stories of day-to-day endurance after the quakes and the importance of families, friends, and neighbours at times of crisis. These stories document women’s contributions within workplaces, voluntary organisations and their communities in spite of ongoing emotional and financial stress, disrupted physical environments, trauma, and fear. Women talk about how their lives have changed and their hopes for Christchurch. Every woman has a unique story to tell.