By Constance Backhouse, David H. Flaherty
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Additional resources for Challenging Times: The Women's Movement in Canada and the United States
Instead, we were busy using all the existing mechanisms for change opened to us in Quebec. In feminist solidarity we did, however, give our immediate support to the Committee for the Equality of Women. I wrote the press release, and Rejane Laberge-Colas, our president, along with Therese Casgrain, joined the delegation in Ottawa. What were the channels of communication between the principal social actors involved here? There were no institutional lines of communication; there were, however, individuals who could, for one 26 Monique Begin reason or another, bridge the two cultures on women's issues and concerns.
Women in rural areas of Canada, women living and working in cities, native or immigrant women, young students as well as older women, francophone and anglophone women, all said the same things. They spoke of their aspirations and their lack of opportunities, the prejudices and stereotypes, the discrimination and injustice, the need to change marriages and families to attain real and equal partnership. They spoke of the children they cared for. They stressed how the current political, economic, and social structures of Canada were an insult to their dignity as women.
Many groups became feminist in purpose but remained traditional in their views of politics and organization. "10 In Canada, this did not prevent co-operation between women and groups from the two aspects. "11 Her description of the women's liberation movement, however, was inclusive of other positions including liberal feminism. Describing the women's liberation movement as "a generic term covering a large spectrum of positions," she divided the movement into the three familiar ideological positions (liberal, left, and radical), adding that "all three broad segments have their own validity, all three are important.