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Women's Studies Program, University of Ottawa / Progamme en Études des femmes, Université d'Ottawa

  • Instelling
  • 1980-1999
In the 1970s, a few pioneers women from various disciplines such as English, History, French Letters, Psychology, Political Science, Religious Studies and Sociology developed the first courses dealing with women's issues at the University of Ottawa. In the 1980s, a coordinating committee made up of professors and students from the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Social Sciences developed the framework for a program in Women's Studies. In 1983, the creation of a bilingual program in Women's Studies was officially approved by the Senate. The program is offered at the undergraduate level and is attached to the Office of the Vice-President, Academic. In 1985, the Department of the Secretary of State granted a Joint Chair in Women's Studies at the Universities of Ottawa and Carleton. In 1995, a fully bilingual, multidisciplinary program in Women's Studies at the Master's level was established. The objective of the program is to combine graduate studies in a particular discipline with the feminist approach and issues developed in Women's Studies. In 1999, the Women's Studies Institute replaced the Women's Studies program. In 2004, the Women's Studies Institute was transferred to the administration of the Faculty of Social Sciences. In 2014, the Women's Studies Institute becomes the Institute of Women's and Gender Studies. (Source : https://socialsciences.uottawa.ca/feminist-gender-studies/about-institute/milestones) / Dans les années 1970, quelques pionnières provenant de diverses disciplines telles que English, Histoire, Lettres françaises, Psychologie, Sciences politique, Sciences religieuses et Sociologie développement les premiers cours traitant de questions reliées aux femmes à l’Université d’Ottawa. Dans les années 1980, un comité de coordination constitué de professeures et d’étudiantes de la Faculté des arts et de la Faculté des sciences sociales, conçoit le canevas d’un programme en études des femmes. En 1983, la création d’un programme bilingue en études des femmes est approuvée officiellement par le Sénat. Le programme est offert au niveau du premier cycle et rattaché au cabinet du vice-recteur aux études. En 1985, le Secrétariat d’État accorde une Chaire conjointe en études des femmes aux Universités d’Ottawa et de Carleton. En 1995, un programme pluridisciplinaire entièrement bilingue en études des femmes au niveau de la maîtrise est mis en place. L’objectif du programme est de combiner des études de deuxième cycle dans une discipline particulière avec l’approche féministe et les problématiques développées en études des femmes. En 1999, l’Institut d’études des femmes remplace le programme en études des femmes. En 2004, l’Institut d’études des femmes passe sous l’administration de la Faculté des sciences sociales. En 2014, l'Institut d'études des femmes devient l'Institut d'études féministes et de genre. (Source : https://sciencessociales.uottawa.ca/etudes-feministes-genre/institut-bref/chemin-parcouru )

Second Wave Feminism Oral History Collection

  • Instelling
  • 2007-2012

The Second Wave Feminism Oral History Collection is the result of the findings from the Second Wave Archival Project, a research project organized by Canadian Senator Nancy Ruth and Beth Atcheson. Interviews were conducted by Bronwyn Bragg (lead researcher and interviewer) and Mary Breen. The Second Wave Archival Project aimed to document the history of second wave feminism in Canada. The final oral history collection includes 99 interviews with women from Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

The Second Wave Archival Project was a collaboration between Nancy’s Very Own Foundation (NVOF) and the University of Ottawa Library Archives and Special Collections. NVOF is a private foundation in Toronto founded by Senator Nancy Ruth. The interviews are part of the Canadian Women’s Movement Archives (CWMA) at the University of Ottawa Library. Bronwyn Bragg was employed from 2008-2010 by NVOF and later published a master’s thesis from the University of Toronto in 2011 titled “Deconstructing ‘Hegemonic Feminism’: The Emergence of ‘Second Wave’ Feminism in Canada (1965-1975)”. In this thesis Bragg also outlines the history of the project.

The oral history interviews were digitally recorded and conducted primarily in person. Some were done over the phone. The interviews conducted in Ontario are accompanied by transcripts done by Bronwyn Bragg.

In 2007, the original intention of the project was to collect documents and ephemera relating to second wave feminism in Canada. Then it was decided to collect oral history interviews instead when locating documents proved more difficult than anticipated. Initially ten women in Ontario were on the list of interviewees. However, the list of interviewees grew and more than forty interviews had been recorded by Bronwyn Bragg by October of 2008.

A goal of the project was to reflect the diversity of the second wave movement in Canada by including experiences from women of colour, aboriginal women, women with disabilities, and women who identify as LGBTQ2S+ as outlined in Bragg’s master’s thesis. Interviews with women who were active early on in the movement were prioritized as were interviews with the eldest women outlines Bragg.

An interview guide and consent form was created for the interviews. The consent form states that recordings will become the property of uOttawa and included in the Canadian Women’s Movement Archives, interviewees can restrict access to their interviews if desired, and receive a copy of their interview, etc. Lawyers working on the project drafted the consent form with input from the University of Ottawa Library Archives and Special Collections. The content of the consent form was reviewed before and after the interview with the interviewee. Once the interview had been conducted, participants were asked to sign the form and stipulate any access restrictions.

The interview guide was created in collaboration with other feminist academics in history and sociology. Questions in the guide were general and open-ended. The interview guide consisted of a list of questions grouped into four categories. The first being to capture stories for the next generation of feminists and to create permanent archival records for future research. The first section of questions dealt with how participants became involved with feminism, the second dealt with organizational affiliations and group memberships, the third dealt with how participants felt to be part of the movement, the fourth about what participants thought was important for young feminists today. The participants were not sent the interview guide before the interview unless they requested it. A list of open-ended demographic questions was appended to the guide to serve as follow up questions. This was done to ensure all relevant information had been captured during the interview.

Two goals were stated in the guide. The first being to capture stories for the next generation of feminists and to create permanent archival records for future research on second wave feminism in Canada.

Comité RIFAS (Regroupement d'intervenants-tes francophones, abus sexuels)

  • Instelling
  • 1985-1992
Le comité RIFAS (Regroupement d'intervenants-tes francophones, abus sexuels) a été fondé en décembre 1985 avec pour mission de mobiliser et réunir des intervenants-tes intéressés-es par la problématique des abus sexuels. Les objectifs du comité étaient d'établir un réseau d'échange d'informations, de coordonner les ressources offertes en français en matière d'abus sexuels, de favoriser les références de la clientèle aux diverses ressources, de créer un centre de ressources et de documentation et finalement d'offrir de la formation professionnelle. Il est composé d'intervenants-tes sociaux provenant de différentes agences telles la Société de l'aide à l'enfance d'Ottawa-Carleton, le bureau des services à la jeunesse, le Centre psycho-social, le Centre des services communautaires de la Basse-Ville, l'Hôpital pour enfants de l'Est de l'Ontario, le Conseil Scolaire d'Ottawa.

Montreal Health Press

  • Canada
  • Instelling
  • 1968-[2001]

The Montreal Health Press–les Presses de la Santé de Montréal–was a feminist, non-profit collective that published affordable print booklets, in French and English, on sexuality and sexual health, for over 30 years. The organization provided affordable and accessible handbooks on issues surrounding birth control, contraception, child birth, sexual orientation, sexually transmitted diseases and menopause.

The organization officially became a women’s collective in 1972, although the collective originated in 1968 when members of the McGill University student body produced and distributed the “Birth Control Handbook.” Two of these student publishers, Donna Cherniak and Allan Feingold, became founding members of the Montreal Health Press.

The organization's administrative style was informal, with annual May meetings held at members’ kitchen tables. One individual was appointed chief coordinator for each publication and members volunteered to contribute their expertise as medical doctors, social scientists, photographers etc. Each handbook was continually re-published with updated medical information.

During the 1970s, a million copies of the “Birth Control Handbook” were distributed. The first handbooks were followed by the “VD Handbook,” in 1973, “A Book about Sexual Assault,” in 1979, and “A Book about Menopause” in 1988, as well as their French-language equivalents. The publications favoured clear and non-judgmental language along with detailed medical diagrams and black and white photographs.

By the 1990s, sales were greatly diminished, due in part to the proliferation of self-help books and to the availability of online content. The collective closed permanently by 2001. During its more than 30-year history, the Montreal Health Press had distributed over 15 million copies of its books and handbooks.

Canadian Federation of University Women of Ottawa

  • Instelling
  • 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 Women's Club of Ottawa

  • Instelling
  • 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.

Canadian Women's Health Network

  • Canada
  • Instelling
  • 1993-2017

The Canadian Women’s Health Network (CWHN) was established by a group of women representing 70 organizations that worked within the women’s health movement. The CWHNN consisted of a network of individuals, groups and organizations working to address gender inequality in health systems–both within Canada and around the world. The organization aimed to provide women-centred health information through networking, resource-sharing, education, and advocacy.

The Canadian Women’s Health Network also addressed contemporary issues relating to women’s health, including inequitable health policies and practices. The organization disseminated health information online and established its ‘Clearinghouse,’ a centralized collection of women-centred health resources and networks. The CWHN’s branches of activities also included the production of “Network/Le Réseau,” a bilingual health magazine.

The CWHN conducted extended community outreach to speak to women’s health and health issues in diverse contexts. The organization also worked within the Women’s Health Contribution Program, Health Canada, and communicated the researching findings of its affiliated partners, such as the Centres of Excellence for Women’s Health and le Réseau québécois d’action pour la santé des femmes.

The CWHN consisted of a Coordinating Committee, as well as a Board of Directors. The CWHN suspended operations in 2014 due to lack of federal funding; the Board of Directors continued to operate for several years, before closing permanently in 2017.

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)

  • Instelling
  • 1976 -

CRIAW-ICREF est « un institut de recherche qui offre des outils pour aider les organisations à agir afin de promouvoir la justice sociale et l’égalité pour toutes les femmes » (criaw-icref.ca, consulté le 3 juin 2021). CRIAW-ICREF est une organisation canadienne à but non lucratif basée sur les membres. Elle privilégie le développement de la recherche féministe et sa diffusion à des fins d’éducation et de défense de droits. Elle est la seule organisation féministe nationale bilingue au Canada privilégiant exclusivement la recherche.

L’ICREF été fondé par des féministes - universitaires, membres de la communauté et activistes - dans le sillage de l'Année internationale de la femme (1975) pour répondre au manque de recherches existantes sur les femmes et leurs expériences. Le congrès de fondation de l’organisation constitué de soixante-dix membres, s’est tenu à Ottawa en avril 1976. Durant ce congrès, les objectifs ont été établis, les statuts adoptés, un conseil d’administration élu, et le nom de la nouvelle organisation a été choisi, soit l’Institut canadien de recherches sur les femmes. En novembre 1976, une tribune sur la recherche et les femmes s’est tenue à l’Université Mount Saint Vincent à Halifax. Cette rencontre a constitué les prémices du colloque annuel de l’ICREF, qui se tiendra partout au Canada, de Halifax à Vancouver, jusqu’à Yellowknife. Les objectifs des membres fondateurs ont été « d’encourager, de coordonner et de diffuser la recherche sur le vécu des femmes et d’assurer à celles-ci une place égale dans l’ensemble des connaissances et des recherches sur le Canada, son peuple, sa culture, son économie et ses politiques » (Une brève histoire de l’ICREF, document préparé par Linda Clippingdale). Dès 1977, l’Institut prépare sa première publication, un répertoire de la recherche sur les femmes et le travail sous la direction de Susan Mann Trofimenkoff. Dès 1978, l’ICREF a décerné un certain nombre de subventions chaque année, finançant ainsi des centaines de projets entrepris par des chercheuses communautaires et universitaires. Naomi Griffiths, Susan Mann-Trofimenkoff et Francine Fournier sont devenues les premières membres honoraires de l’ICREF en 1980. Entre autres, un prix nommé en l’honneur de Muriel Duckworth (présidente de l’ICREF de 1979 à 1980) a été mis en place. L’ICREF a lancé deux séries de documents. "Les Documents de l’ICREF" sont parus pour la première fois en 1980, et "Perspectives féministes" a vu le jour en 1985. En 1981, l’ICREF commence a publié un Bulletin trimestriel à l’intension de ses membres. En 1982, il publie pour la première fois les Actes de son colloque.

Les premières années de l’ICREF ont été marquées par la recherche d’une source de financement stable. En 1979, l’ICREF obtient une aide financière au fonctionnement conséquente du Programme de promotion de la femme du Secrétariat d’État, qui lui permet d’acquérir une stabilité financière. Ainsi, l’ICREF déménage, engage du personnel et peut ainsi offrir une gamme plus étendue de services à ses membres. Cependant au-delà du financement reçu du gouvernement canadien, et depuis ses débuts, les activités de l’Institut ont été financées par diverses sources, notamment par des dons, les cotisations des membres, la vente de publications, mais également grâce au soutien de diverses associations telles que l’Association des Universités et Collèges du Canada.

Dans les années 1990, l’ICREF a modifié ses pratiques pour une plus grande inclusivité. Face aux multiples formes d’inégalités et d’oppression non prises en compte par le mouvement des femmes, l’organisation a réfléchi à l’application de l’intersectionnalité dans ses programmes et sa structure organisationnelle. Plusieurs conférences ont vu le jour (Femmes et handicap en 1990; Faire les liens en 1992). Les structures organisationnelles de l’ICREF ont fait l’objet d’un examen, et un comité d’éthique de la recherche a vu le jour (1994). Dans le début des années 2000, l’ICREF a souhaité intensifier ses efforts pour une analyse féministe intégrée (AFI) plus approfondie. Ainsi, l’organisation a restructuré son conseil d’administration (2001) pour une représentation plus diversifiée des groupes d’équité identifiés : femmes racisées, femmes en situation de handicap, lesbiennes et les bisexuelles, femmes transgenres, femmes autochtones, une plus grande représentation régionale, membres du conseil d’administration représenté par au moins 25% de francophones). Elle a également élaboré un plan stratégique centré sur la question de l’intersectionnalité.

L’ICREF a soutenu et mené de nombreux projets de recherche portant sur les femmes au Canada. Vers le milieu de sa première décennie, l’ICREF a mis au point deux grands projets : la Banque de chercheuses et le Répertoire des périodiques pour femmes canadiennes. Les membres de l’ICREF ont présenté de nombreux mémoires au nom de l’égalité des femmes, notamment des mémoires au CRTC sur le sexisme dans les médias, au Groupe d’étude fédéral-provincial sur les victimes du crime, au Comité fédéral d’examen de la politique culturelle, à la Commission MacDonald, au Groupe d’étude fédéral sur la garde des enfants, et à la Commission royale d’enquête sur les nouvelles technologies de reproduction. Parmi les nombreux projets entrepris, l’ICREF a participé à : l’étude pilote « La participation des femmes à la vie politique » commandée par l’UNESCO (1985-1988); une trousse de ressources communautaires sur les nouvelles technologies de reproduction qui a servi à la préparation des mémoires pour la Commission royale sur les nouvelles technologies de reproduction (1988-1990); la participation des femmes canadiennes à la Conférence mondiale sur les femmes de 1995 à Beijing; une recherche-action participative sur les effets sociaux, politiques et culturels du développement économique dans le nord du Canada pour les femmes (FemNorthNet); une recherche pancanadienne sur les impacts des changements dans l’emploi et la prestation des services publics sur les femmes (Changing Public Services).

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CRIAW-ICREF is "a research institute that provides tools to help organizations take action to promote social justice and equality for all women" (criaw-icref.ca, accessed June 3, 2021). CRIAW-ICREF is a Canadian non-profit, member-based organization. It depends on the support of its members and donors. It focuses on the development of feminist research and its dissemination for educational and advocacy purposes. It is the only national bilingual feminist organization in Canada that focuses exclusively on research.

CRIAW was founded by feminists, academics, community members and activists, in the wake of International Women's Year (1975) to address the lack of existing research on women and their experiences. The founding conference, with seventy members, was held in Ottawa in April 1976. During this conference, objectives were established, by-laws adopted, a Board of Directors elected, and the name of the new organization was chosen, the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. In November 1976, a forum on research and women was held at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. This meeting was the beginning of CRIAW's annual conference, which will be held across Canada from Halifax to Vancouver to Yellowknife. The objectives of the founding members were "to encourage, coordinate and disseminate research on women's experiences and to ensure that women have an equal place in the body of knowledge and research on Canada, its people, culture, economy and politics" (A Brief History of CRIAW, prepared by Linda Clippingdale). By 1977, the Institute was preparing its first publication, an inventory of research on women and work, edited by Susan Mann Trofimenkoff. Beginning in 1978, CRIAW awarded several grants each year, funding hundreds of projects undertaken by community and academic researchers. Naomi Griffiths, Susan Mann-Trofimenkoff and Francine Fournier became CRIAW's first honorary members in 1980. Among other prices, an award named in honour of Muriel Duckworth (CRIAW president from 1979 to 1980) was established. CRIAW launched two series of documents. “CRIAW Papers” was first published in 1980 and “Feminist Perspectives” was launched in 1985. In 1981, CRIAW began publishing a quarterly newsletter for its members. In 1982, it published its first conference proceedings.

CRIAW's early years were marked by the search for a stable source of funding. In 1979, CRIAW received substantial operating funding from the Secretary of State's Women's Program, which gave it financial stability. CRIAW moved, hired staff and was able to offer a wider range of services to its members. However, beyond the funding received from the Canadian government, since its inception, the Institute's activities have been funded from a variety of sources, including donations, membership fees, sales of publications, and support from various associations such as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

In the 1990s, CRIAW changed its practices to become more inclusive. In front of multiple forms of inequality and oppression not addressed by the women's movement, the organization reflected on the application of intersectionality in its programs and organizational structure. Several conferences were held (Women and Disability in 1990; Making the Links in 1992). CRIAW's organizational structures were reviewed, and a research ethics committee was established (1994). In the early 2000s, CRIAW wanted to intensify its efforts towards a more in-depth integrated feminist analysis (IFA). Thus, the organization restructured its Board of Directors (2001) to ensure a more diverse representation of identified equity groups: racialized women, women with disabilities, lesbian and bisexual women, transgendered women, Aboriginal women, greater regional representation, and at least 25% Francophone board members). It has also developed a strategic plan that focuses on the issue of intersectionality.

CRIAW has supported and conducted numerous research projects related to women in Canada. Midway through its first decade, CRIAW developed two major projects: the Women's Research Bank and the Canadian Women's Periodical Directory. CRIAW members have made numerous submissions on behalf of women's equality, including submissions to the CRTC on sexism in the media, the Federal-Provincial Task Force on Victims of Crime, the Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee, the MacDonald Commission, the Federal Task Force on Child Care, and the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies. Among the many projects undertaken, CRIAW has participated in: the pilot study " Women’s Involvement in Political Life" commissioned by UNESCO (1985-1988); a community resource kit on new reproductive technologies that was used to prepare briefs for the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies (1988-1990); Canadian women's participation in the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing; participatory action research on the social, political and cultural effects of economic development in northern Canada on women (FemNorthNet); pan-Canadian research on the impacts of changes in employment and public service delivery on women (Changing Public Services).

Service, Office and Retail Workers of Canada (SORWUC)

  • Instelling
  • 1971-1986
The SORWUC began in 1971 with the Working Women’s Association of Vancouver and involved mainly unorganized women themselves. The group was also involved with public education about day care, job security, and equal pay. The union became formally organized and born from the Working Women’s Association of Vancouver in 1972 by a founding convention of 24 women, having the intention of creating SORWUC to represent organized occupations that were not yet included in the traditional trade unions at that time in Canada. The union aimed to overcome adversities faced by working women within these occupations by negotiating and bargaining for what they aimed to publicly educate their members on such as improve working conditions and provide job security. The union was able to branch out in three years’ time to include bank workers, and individuals from the finance industry. Having a presence primarily in British Columbia where the headquarters was located, SORWUC had a national presence in Canada due to Local sections of sisters and members in various cities. Local 7 was chartered in June 1982 for the region of Ontario and was based in Ottawa. After a decade of organized events and national presence, SORWUC ended operations in 1986.

Working Women Community Centre

  • CA
  • Instelling
  • 1974-

Working Women Community Centre (WWCC) was created in June 1974 in Toronto’s West End to help newcomer women with pre-employment and employment counselling. The Centre was specifically created to help women from Portugal, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. The original name of the Centre was Women’s Community Employment Centre.

WWCC has responded to the needs of women in Toronto’s newcomer communities with creative, yet pragmatic, programs and services. In 1978, WWCC sponsored the Working Skills Centre, a mailroom on-the-job training program.

In 1984, WWCC helped develop the South Asian Women’s Centre, providing settlement services to South Asian women in Toronto. From 1985-1989, WWCC partnered with Humber College to offer the Electronics Assembler Program [Immigrant Women Into Electronics], providing immigrant women with skills for entry level electronics positions.

Since 1980, WWCC has provided immigrant women with an English as a Second Language program and a Language Instruction for Newcomers program, as well as offering computer training.

From 1980-1985, WWCC sponsored Modistas Unidas Workshop, an informal collective of skilled Portuguese-speaking dressmakers. This professional dressmaking business created an exclusive high-quality women’s clothing line.

In 2005, WWCC and its partners facilitated the Baker/Patisserie pre-apprenticeship training program. WWCC also partnered with organizations, in 2007, to provide immigrant women with pre-apprenticeship carpentry training.

As of 2014, WWCC serves all newcomer communities across the city, with office locations in the Jane/Finch, Don Mills/Sheppard/Peanut Town, Bloor West, and Victoria Village communities.

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