HerStory in 2017 Report: Voices of Young Women Today

A report that listens to the voices of young women, to understand the needs of young women in Aotearoa New Zealand today.

Prepared by researcher Rara Sekar Larasati
Visual design by Lisa Couldrey
Commissioned by YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand


Many things have happened since 1995 when the last Status of Women report was produced by YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand. We hope that the release of the HerStory in 2017 report may serve as a much-needed space for young women to voice their lived experiences in Aotearoa today.

We also hope that this report will help us, and many other organisations who work in the field of youth development and young women's leadership, to evaluate our work, have further discussions, and  ultimately better meet the needs of young women.

The HerStory 2017 report also responds to a gap in research in Aotearoa, which often generalises the voices of young women between the age of 15 and 30. We believe that young women in different age groups face different challenges and opportunities. This report presents some of these nuances in the experiences of young women.

Results from this survey provide valuable insights into the individual and collective challenges and opportunities facing young women in Aotearoa. Findings indicate differences based on age group in terms of knowledge of existing programmes available, the level of interest in the type of activities, understandings of what leadership really means to them, and economic, social, and cultural influences on leadership development.