Story: Men and women in the city

Rest rooms, Palmerston North

Rest rooms, Palmerston North

In the 19th century few city spaces were open to women. Women had to fight for basic amenities like public toilets. Some of these evolved into rest rooms, where women could also change a baby’s nappy, have a cup of tea, or prepare for a night on the town. These rest rooms were built in the Square, Palmerston North, in 1936 and continued to be patronised in 2009.

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Photograph by Simon Nathan

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How to cite this page:

Caroline Daley, 'Men and women in the city - Women’s spaces', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 September 2023)

Story by Caroline Daley, published 11 Mar 2010