Why feature women?

If 90 per cent of people in an area are men then you're probably not accessing the whole of the talent in the population. (Cheryl Praeger)

Unfortunately this applies to our quarter-peal conductors, and even more so our peal conductors (2019 figures shown below). It suggests we should be working to improve female participation.

Bar graph

ANZAB statistics appear to mimic those in other ringing societies. See the article from 2021 and the section below, tracking our statistics.

This page is to celebrate the achievements of female ringers, to list ideas that may make bell ringing more friendly to everyone, including women, and to collect any gender-based statistics tracking ANZAB participation.

Please let us know of other achievements or ideas you would like to see listed here by contacting the

Tracking our statistics

Women in Ringing, the website of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers 2020 working group for gender balance in ringing, has the following graph, which shows that female ringers are very under-represented in many activities. This version has been annotated with ANZAB figures relevant for 2019. More details of ANZAB statistics are here.


Image taken from Women In Ringing showing the proportion of women represented in various aspects of ringing.
Click on the image for a larger view.

Ideas for improving female participation

  • Teach everyone to be a conductor.
  • Teach everyone to ring light and heavy bells.
  • Ensure women and men are offered back bells equally.
  • Ensure women and men are asked to conduct equally.
  • Be as encouraging as possible, while still safe, regarding children visiting the tower.
  • Keep in touch with ringers who take a break (e.g. parental leave).
  • Be flexible to support new parents continue ringing.
  • Record band placements and conductors, and offers of conducting.
  • Discuss each ringer's goals and try to support them.
  • Ensure that people feel safe. Don't underestimate how vulnerable young women can feel.
  • Watch your language, ensuring it is inclusive, and similarly supportive to women and men.
  • Foster a tower culture that values respect, solidarity, and friendship.
  • Aim to make consensus decisions rather than majority decisions.
  • Monitor your tower statistics for women ringing and conducting quarter-peals, and set a target to improve it if necessary.

Suggested target for ANZAB and individual towers

  • The proportion of female conductors for QPs matches the proportion of female ringers in QPs.

Woman ringing

20 February 1963 - Peal conducted by a woman

23 January 1966 - Tower Bell Quarter Peal by a female band

24 January 1968 - Handbell Peal by a female band

1 December 1973 - Tower Bell Peal by a female band

26 September 1987 - Peal of Major by a female band

22 April 2019 - Quarter Peal on 10 by a female band

1927 or 1928 - Quarter Peal rung by a (visiting) woman

1 July 1931 - Quarter Peal rung by an Australian woman (and Australian trained)

11 November 1934 - Peal rung by a woman

10 January 1950 - Quarter Peal rung by a woman (visiting from Australia)

24 January 1950 - Peal rung by a woman (visiting from Australia)

23 October 1954 - Peal rung by a NZ woman (and NZ trained)

25 November 1984 - Quarter Peal by a female band

21 January 1988 - Peal conducted by a woman

11 December 1993 - Quarter Peal on 8 by a female band