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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Katherine Sheppard

b. 1847, Liverpool; d. 1934, Christchurch, New Zealand

Katherine Sheppard, who preferred the name Kate, was a founding member of the New Zealand Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1885. She encouraged debate within the union and at church meetings, meanwhile coordinating and fostering other unions, addressing the press, and distributing pamphlets. In 1891, she established and edited a woman’s page in the Prohibitionist, the national temperance magazine. Five years later, the WCTU began publication of its own newspaper, The White Ribbon, the only paper to be launched, owned, edited, managed, and published by women in New Zealand. The paper addressed all sorts of issues pertaining to women’s rights. Sheppard served at the magazine for eight years.