Showing 147 results

Authority record

Vancouver Women's Health Collective

  • Corporate body
  • 1971-

The Vancouver Women’s Health Collective began in 1971, when women who were angered with the health care provided by their doctors got together to do something about it. The founding women recognized that women’s health care needs were often ignored, underrepresented and trivialized within the medical system. Originally, the collective worked as a meeting place for women to discuss their experiences and frustrations with the health care system. In 1972, the VWHC was established as a non-profit charitable women’s organization.

What began as a small support system, turned into a “clinic” where women could see a doctor and receive health care in a supportive environment. Women also used the space as a place to share their ideas and advocate for changes in the health care system for all women. Furthermore, organizing as a collective, rather than a hierarchical structure, made all women participants in the organization’s decision making process.

During the 1980s, the “clinic” closed and the VWHC focused on providing information and resources for women. Over the years, the VWHC has been active in a variety of ways based on women’s needs, the political climate, our volunteer power and expertise and of course, funding challenges. VWHC members, volunteers and staff attended general practitioner conferences and the Provincial Women’s Health Lobby in the fall of 1992. We held press conferences to promote awareness on diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen given by doctors to pregnant women between 1941 and 1975 to reduce the risk of miscarriage. DES was later found to have serious health effects. The VWHC also raised awareness about and was involved in actions against producers of the Dalkon Shield, an inter-uterine device promoted as a safe form of birth control. The Dalkon Shield was later found to seriously harm women who used it.

Over the years, the VWHC has produced publications on a variety of women’s health issues from a feminist perspective, some of which were translated into Mandarin and Spanish. The VWHC has also hosted workshops on numerous women’s health issues including breast health, DES, abortion, birth control, complementary therapies, mental health, natural fertility, menopause, pap tests, sexually transmitted diseases and unlearning racism. Past community-based organizing has included a 25th anniversary celebration, supporting women artists through art shows at the VWHC, and fundraising initiatives such as the sale of sunflowers on 4th Avenue in Vancouver. From 1998 to 2002, the VWHC ran the Community Health Advocate Project (CHA) that included the delivery of the Patient’s Rights workshop to women in the community.

While the initiatives undertaken by the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective have changed over the years, our aim has remained the same since 1971…empowering women to take control of their health through self-advocacy, information and knowledge, and activism.

Upstream Collective

  • Corporate body
  • 1976-1980

Upstream was an Ottawa-based feminist news magazine published by the Feminist Publications of Ottawa. In January 1976, after a notice was posted in the Ottawa Women’s Centre, a collective began forming around the idea of a feminist news publication. The first issue was published in October 1976 thanks to a $3000 grant from the Bronfman Foundation and several fundraising endeavours. It began as a bi-monthly publication but changed to monthly when finances became difficult to secure. The collective started as a 16 women team and grew to include freelancers, volunteers, and a number of employees. They also hired students and contract employees through government assistant programs.

The name was adopted in honour of Agnes Macphail, the first woman elected to the House of Commons, who compared her public life in 1922 to a pleasurable but difficult voyage upstream. The staff felt that this paralleled the struggles women experienced going against traditional, exploitative currents in Canadian society. Published from 1976 to 1980, the collective wanted to keep women in Ottawa, and eventually Canada, informed of news and women’s issues from a feminist point of view. It was also a vehicle for encouraging dialogue between their readers.

Conceived of as a completely volunteer publication, Upstream began as a 20 page tabloid with 75% of space devoted to news and 25% to advertising. Each issue would include local news from a woman’s viewpoint as well as arts, sports, editorials, letters, opposition editorials, columns, national, and international news. Staffed by individuals with diverse backgrounds, they wanted to bring a variety of articles to their readers. This organization functioned with a non-hierarchical structure, which eventually caused issues within the group. Upstream was sustained through subscriptions and donations with a goal of generating advertising revenue in the future.

After fourteen months, Upstream developed some internal disharmony especially with regards to the political direction of the paper. Although they wanted a collective with diversity they required a more unified business plan. There are several letters and reports of issues with distribution including missing issues for several months, which is indicative of a lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the collective. The disorganization eventually led to several members resigning over creative differences. Although they had steady circulation and revenue from a typesetting business, the paper experienced severe financial difficulties in early 1980. The collective went through a restructuring phase that was meant to create a unified policy that would help with the content, structure, and the political aim of the news magazine. Unfortunately, the reconstruction only identified bigger issues. In July 1980, the final issue of Upstream was published including personal messages on Upstream’s challenges and goodbyes. There was a wave of support both written and financial after the end of publication.

Feminist Publications of Ottawa hoped to expand into other forms of publication including graphic design. In 1978, members of the original collective also received a Secretary of State Grant to create a poster series on Women in History. This series included posters about women in sports, working in non-traditional careers, and a focus on the People’s case. There is no clear evidence that the full series was ever completed.

University Women's Club of Ottawa

  • Corporate body
  • 1910-1991

The Canadian Federation of University Women/Ottawa (CFUW-O) was formed in April 14th, 1910 and incorporated under the name of University Women Club of Ottawa (UWC-O). It was formed by women graduates of various universities living in Ottawa. UWC denomination was changed in 1991 to Canadian Federation of University Women of Ottawa (CFUW-O). The club is a voluntary, self-funded, non-partisan, non-profit organization, open to all women. It is dedicated to the promotion of equality, social justice, fellowship, and life-long learning for women and girls. It provides opportunities to members to socialize, educate and advocate.

The organisation offers opportunities for friendship, learning as part of external outreach groups. Study and interest groups for a wide range of interests including outdoor activities, indoor games, cuisine, book clubs, art, public affairs, music have been formed. Various events have been organized during which expert speakers intervened on educational, political, social, and cultural issues with a focus on equality for women and girls.

UWC/CFUW-O members work on local issues. Their advocacy is always based on policies which have been approved by their members. The UWC was admitted in 1919 to membership in the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW). The UWC/CFUW-O is also part of Graduate Women International (GWI), formerly International Federation of University Women (IFUM). The UWC/CFUW-O has also been active in both the affairs of the CFUW and the IFUW. They support CFUW-Ontario Council on provincial issues, and the CFUW National Board on national and international issues.

In 1913, the Drama Reading Circle was started. This group grew into the Ottawa Little Theatre. During the First World War, many members were involved in volunteer service with the Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance. In 1951, the Penal Reform Study Group was responsible for the organization of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa. In the 60s, the UWC participated in the initiation of the School Volunteer Project “Step By Step”, and the Diplomatic Hospitality Committee was initiated. This committee welcomed hundred of diplomatic visitors to Canada.

The organisation supports university and college students through scholarships and awards. The club began to award university scholarships in 1935. The Scholarship Trust Fund (STF) was formed in September 1983. The purpose of Scholarship Trust Fund is to encourage and support the study and research of those seeking higher education. Through annual appeals, proceeds from various fundraising events, investing, members and friends’ donations, the Fund has given in university scholarship and awards.

Dr. Charlotte Whitton former Mayor of Ottawa, and well-known women have been presidents of the UWC/CFUW-O.

University of Ottawa Library COVID-19 Telling Her-Stories project / Bibliothèque uOttawa projet COVID-19 Elle, ses histories

  • Corporate body
  • 2020-

Telling her-stories in Canada: Documenting COVID-19 in your voice
The University of Ottawa Library is working on a small scale pilot project to build a unique and special collection around your stories and experiences of and during the COVID-19 pandemic as a woman in Canada. The Library is currently home to the Women’s Archives, an invaluable resource for those examining the history of women in Canada. By actively collecting the stories of how the pandemic has impacted you, we can ensure that the historical record of the pandemic will include your stories, voices, and perspectives.

Why is this important?
History has often overlooked the experience of women. Her-stories have been invisible and oftentimes little is known about the true impact of major events on the lives of women (told from their own perspective). The content you share will let us hear your voice and share your experience with others now and in the future. Through your stories, we can understand your successes, struggles, happiness, and disappointments as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you, for example, in terms of economics, health, career, unpaid care work, and domestic violence, etc.

Women throughout Canada will be given the opportunity to upload their content to a platform where it will be captured, preserved, and made available to researchers as part of the Women’s Archives collections at the Library’s Archives and Special Collections unit. Traditionally, archives have passively waited for donors to reach out to them with records for donation, however, in this case, we will actively approach the community for contributions and donors will be able to quickly upload their content directly through a specially designed platform. This approach is currently being implemented by GLAMs across Canada and the U.S. who understand the magnitude of the pandemic and the importance of capturing people’s immediate response. Our team has designed the platform using the open-source web publishing system called Omeka. With the help of our supporters and community of users, we will reach out to our target community of women across the country and from all different backgrounds and experiences. Once content has been uploaded to the platform, it will be reviewed, described, processed for preservation, and made available long-term to those interested in the topic. The content will become part of the Library’s Women’s Archives collections and accessible on the Library’s website and archives collection database.

Turner, Joan

  • Person
Joan Turner was an associate professor at the University of Manitoba’s School of Social Work for almost 20 years and also had a private practice that included counselling, therapeutic massage and body work. Upon receiving an inheritance from an aunt who had always supported women’s issues, Joan decided to open a women’s bookstore in her memory. The Bold Print bookstore located in Winnipeg, Manitoba was in operation from 1986 until 1994. Turner edited Living the Changes and co-edited Perspectives on Women (originally titled “in the 80’s”; and Spider Women: A Tapestry of Healing and Creativity.

Turner, Ashley

  • Person
Ashley Turner completed a Master's Degree in criminology from the University of Ottawa in 1988. She was a founding member and director of JEWELS (Justice, Equality, and Equity for Women Everywhere, Legally, Lawlessly, and Shamelessly), a sanctuary organization for women and children. She is also the author of several articles on the history of sanctuaries.
Ashley Turner is a human rights activist and lobbied for support on many issues including anti-rape, anti-violence against women, rights for women in prison, and support for victims of abuse. She was also a front line worker in the anti-rape and battered women's movements and worked at organizations in the Ottawa area.

Toronto Wages for Housework Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1973-1986

The Toronto Wages for Housework Committee (WFH) was a women’s group based in Toronto which began its operations around 1973. This committee was a branch of an international organization of the same name. It demanded that the federal and provincial governments pay wages for housework. It believed that housework kept women in the home, without financial independence from men. It also fought against the lower wages women received in paid employment, which also kept women dependent on a man’s income. The group attempted to rectify the inequality by launching campaigns in which isolated women could come together and struggle for their causes.

The Toronto Wages for Housework Committee gathered a large number of articles, pamphlets and newsletters from various organizations including the Wages for Housework Committee from other countries, organizations across Canada and several organizations from the Toronto area. The Wages for Housework Committee of Toronto often attended conferences on women's issues and kept themselves aware of the activities of other organizations. They were also active in organizing campaigns and producing articles related to wage issues. Although the date of their demise is not known, it appears from the documents that they ceased operation sometime in 1986.

The Women's Press

  • Corporate body
  • 1971-

The Women’s Press (also known as the Canadian Women’s Educational Press) was founded in 1971, by a subgroup of the Toronto Women’s Liberation Movement, one of the first feminist political organizations in Toronto. The initiative for a feminist press grew out of a dissatisfaction with the mainstream publishing community which had rejected Women Unite!, the first compilation of Canadian contemporary feminist writing. Their mandate was to provide an alternative means of making feminist ideas widely accessible and continue their involvement in the growing Canadian women’s movement. The Canadian Women’s Educational Press, more commonly known as the Women’s Press, was started officially on a grant from the Toronto Local Initiates Project (LIP) as a socialist feminist collective publishing feminist fiction, non-fiction and non-sexist children’s books.

In 1988 the Women’s Press began public discussion of an internal dispute regarding a proposed anti-racist policy. The discussions ended in a split within the Press with some original members departing to form the ‘Second Story Press’.

Women’s Press is Canada’s oldest English language feminist publisher. For over forty years, Women’s Press has played an integral role in the proliferation of high-quality Canadian writing in the fields of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies

The University Women's Club of Ottawa

  • Corporate body
  • 1910-
The University Women's Club of Ottawa was formed on 15 April, 1910. The purpose of the Club was to advance the interests of women and to serve the community in social, educational and cultural areas. The club awarded scholarships to secondary school and university students. It participated in the establishment of the Ottawa Little Theater, The Elizabeth Frye Society of Ottawa and the National School Volunteer Association. The Club presents the view of women on contemporary economic, social and cultural problems. It is affiliated with the Canadian Federation of University Women.

The Feminist News Service

  • Corporate body
  • 1974-?
The Feminist News Service started in December 1974, after a conference held in Winnipeg. It became a national organization with an office in all provinces except for the Atlantic and the territories. Their aim was to become a link between women's groups and newspapers across the country.
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