Short history of women’s rights in Canada

Fundamentally, advocating for the rights of women in Canada during 1960s began with movements that pushed for the equal standing between women and men. First of all, it is worth considering the second wave feminism momentum. This momentum which “involved political and culture shifts” that majorly began to impact the way “women understood themselves and their place in society,” as research by Meg Luxton in Feminism as a Class Act: Working-Class Feminism and the Women’s Movement in Canada, has stated, really influenced how the 1960’s would change.

There were many organizations that put forth their whole efforts to advocate for the choice of having harmony, equality in aspects of labour and opportunities, and overall, for women to gain a position as humans. One of those organizations were Voice of Women (VOW) which included women from all across Canada, that started early in the 1960’s . The VOW accomplished many things such as setting women on the level to becoming noticed as humans in different elements throughout the years.

Many of the things included helping studies to extract baby teeth to demonstrate elevated Strontium 90 levels (1962), as well as during the Vietnam War the women starting knitting for the youth victims. These acts of helping allowed women to be more recognized in areas where only men used to be mentioned in. Another accomplishment was during 1969, they gave women from Southeast Asia the chance to have a voice and explain their circumstances which was not allowed in the America. Furthermore, many other organizations came together to advocate for being free to use any types of contraceptives and allow the freedom to choose to terminate a baby from being born, if they wanted to. This, nevertheless, in that course of time was not allowed at all under the law.

However, after many protests and activists, the Canadian government then “legalized abortion” as well as going as far as “[decriminalizing] homosexuality, and contraceptives” under the Criminal Law Amendment law in 1969 . Overall, this was a huge profit for women as this was a breakthrough towards having the freedom to make decisions for their own health and bodies instead of being controlled as well as be looked down upon by others for using specific contraceptives.

Moreover, it enabled any women, as well as any other gender, to feel free enough to fully love who they wanted to without being limited and discriminated against. Moreover, another organization

was formed single handily in Quebec, however, as Sylvia Wargon stated in Women in Demography in Canada: The 1940’s to the Late 1960’s, the women living there did not become recognized until 1964.

This showcases that the movement for feminism was aging slowly compared to other provinces in Canada. Nonetheless, the Quebec organization worked to get women the same rights as the other places had, and in the end they did. Therefore, as a result, the movement allowed oppressed women to feel they belong which further helped them to gain a voice and inspiration. It did not matter what race, sexuality, or what circumstances the women came from, they all worked together to secure their rights.