Fraser, Janet (1883–1945)

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Fraser, Janet (1883–1945)

New Zealand social reformer. Name variations: Janet Henderson Munro, Janet Kemp. Born Janet Munro, Jan 31, 1883, in Glasgow, Scotland; died Mar 7, 1945, in Wellington, New Zealand; illeg. dau. of Mary McLean (housekeeper) and William Munro (iron foundry warehouseman); parents married 4 years later; m. Frederick George Kemp (clerk), Nov 25, 1903 (div. 1919); m. Peter Fraser (prime minister of NZ), 1919; children: (1st m.) Harold.

Immigrated to New Zealand with 1st husband and son (1909); became the 1st secretary of the Wellington women's branch of the NZ Labour Party (1920); served on Wellington Hospital Board (1925–35); appointed one of the 1st women justices of the peace (1926), associate of the Children's Court (1927), and to the Eugenics Board (1929); concerned with health, education and welfare issues, was active in League of Mothers, New Zealand Society for the Protection of Women and Children, Plunket Society and New Zealand Federation of University Women; worked on governmental committee on maternity services, which resulted in measures to provide financial and child-rearing support (1930s); attended conferences worldwide with 2nd husband, before and after he became prime minister (1940); spoke frequently on employment and welfare policies, housing developments, child health, justice systems, and the position of women in the countries she visited; headed Dominion Central Executive of Women's War Service Auxiliary during World War II.

See also Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Vol. 4).