Story: Family welfare

Widows' pension, 1911

Widows' pension, 1911

Before widows' pensions were introduced in 1911, widowed mothers with dependent children often had to rely on charity, other family members or their own meagre earnings. Widows' pensions pioneered the principle of state support for women without a male breadwinner. In this cartoon, Prime Minister Joseph Ward is gratefully embraced by flocks of widows dressed in black.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: New Zealand Freelance, 21 October 1911, p. 9 (N-P 1685-9)

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Maureen Baker and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Family welfare - Mothers and children – 1800s to 1917', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/cartoon/26075/widows-pension-1911 (accessed 18 May 2021)

Story by Maureen Baker and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 29 Jun 2018