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Who we are



Graduate Women New Zealand is a non-government, not-for-profit, charitable organisation and part of a global network of similar organisations in 61 countries which make up Graduate Women International (GWI).

Founded in 1919, GWI’s mission is to advocate for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality secondary and tertiary education, and training up to the highest levels. Its vision is 100% of girls and women in the world achieving education beyond primary school.



Aims to make a positive difference to the education and employment outcomes for girls and women in New Zealand and internationally.

GWNZ is a scholarship organization. We assist women to succeed:


– through scholarships and awards.


– by sharing experiences and concerns through networking with women of all ages and occupations, and through discussions and social activities.

Nationally and Globally

– through discussing current affairs, and taking positive action on issues and policies affecting the education and employment outcomes for girls and women.


Why join?

GWNZ (formerly NZFGW has a proud 90-year history that through the immense knowledge, skills and experience of its members past and present, has built a credible organisation with local, national and international networks and power.

Our strengths include a network of branches, independent members and an income-earning infrastructure which

  • supports women to achieve through education with grants and scholarships
  • advocates for women locally, nationally and internationally
  • offers opportunities for women at all stages of their career to make a difference for other women
  • is a voice by and for women.



The New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women (NZFGW) was formed in 1921. Formerly the New Zealand Federation of University Women, the name was changed in 2000 to reflect the fact that New Zealand polytechnics, colleges of education, and wananga now also award degrees. The name was changed again in 2016 to reflect the changed branding of Graduate Women International.

Graduate Women New Zealand (GWNZ) is affiliated to Graduate Women International (GWI).


GWI was established in 1919 after the First World War, in the hope that by joining together to promote international peace, co-operation, understanding, and friendship, educated women of the world might assist in averting future disastrous conflicts. Subsequently, IFUW’s mission has broadened to support education and equality for women and girls, the recognition and protection of human rights, promotion of social justice and equality, and lifelong education to influence society in beneficial ways.


GWI has consultative status at the United Nations and its specialised agencies, such as:

Project Five-O involves GWIin the combined effort of 5 international women’s organisations – the other 4 being Zonta, Soroptimists, Business and Professional Women, and the International Council of Women – to initiate and advocate for women’s education and development at the international level, and to support projects in developing nations.

Meet the National Executive