Voice of Women began in 1960 when women across Canada were alarmed about the threat of nuclear war and how nuclear testing was endangering their children’s lives. Lotta Dempsey wrote columns in the Toronto Star asking women to write to her if they were willing to “do something” about this imminent danger. Hundreds replied. Four women, Jo Davis, Dorothy Henderson, Helen Tucker and Beth Touzel met with Lotta Dempsey and shortly thereafter “The Voice of Women” was established. Within months, thousands of women joined VOW that began to receive newsletters urging women to form small local groups to keep in touch with one another and to encourage all their female friends to join and unite for world peace.
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) is a non-partisan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) comprised of a network of diverse women with consultative status at the United Nations ECOSOC. For 55 years, VOW has tirelessly advocated for a world without war. An accredited NGO to the United Nations, affiliated to the Department of Public Information (DPI) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), VOW was the Canadian lead group for peace at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Members have been active in follow-up activities, including writing the chapter,”Women and Peace” in Take Action for Equality, Development and Peace.
They continue to exist today as part of a growing and select number of NGOs that provide women the opportunity to appeal to national government and international diplomats, attend conferences at the United Nations including the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and to write and present briefs and statements to political heads of state and nations worldwide on women and peace issues. They respond to calls for guidance and research on peace and women’s issues locally, nationally, and internationally. VOW is a non-partisan, non-religious organization that values women in all their diversities.