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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.

Webb, Nancy

  • Canada
  • Persoon
  • 1946-

Nancy Webb graduated from high school in 1963 and immediately entered the workforce. She was employed, at age 18, as a secretary for an electronics corporation in Etobicoke, Ontario. In 1979, Nancy Webb enrolled at York University while also working full-time, and later, while parenting her daughter; she graduated from York University in 1991.

In the spring of 1985 Nancy Webb attended a Women’s Studies’ course, Social Sciences 3580.06, taught by Dr. Meg Luxton. Subsequently, Nancy Webb worked as Fundraising and Community Relations Coordinator for the Elizabeth Fry Society in Toronto, for 30 years.

From ca. 1978-1980 Nancy also volunteered with the Lesbian Organization of Toronto. In 1984, she was part of the founding collective of the Notso Amazon Softball League in Toronto.

Greenberg, Shirley E.

  • Canada
  • Persoon
  • 1931-

Shirley Elizabeth (E.) Greenberg (née Schnell) was born to George Schnell and Elizabeth Bertha Schnell in 1931, in Ottawa, Ontario. In 1959 she was married to Irving Greenberg (1928-1991); she had three children.

Throughout her law studies and professional practice, Dr. Greenberg worked for women’s legal equality through advocacy, philanthropy and education.

In the early 1970s, Shirley E. Greenberg was inspired by second-wave feminism to pursue a law degree with the University of Ottawa. She attended law school as a mature, married student and as a mother of three. From March 14-16, 1974, Shirley E. Greenberg attended the founding conference of the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL).

Working with the University of Ottawa’s NAWL chapter, Shirley E. Greenberg helped administer the organization’s 1975 summer project, delivering programs that raised awareness of the impact of legal inequities on women’s lives.

Shelley E. Greenberg also conducted research and wrote extensively about legal topics affecting women, such as child custody, family law, pensions, and unemployment insurance. She wrote for such feminist publications as “Upstream.”

Dr. Greenberg helped found the Ottawa Women’s Centre Association—a vital resource for community women. She also volunteered with Ottawa’s Rape Crisis Centre and Interval House.

After graduating from law school in 1976, Shirley E. Greenberg co-founded Ottawa’s first all-female law practice, in 1978. The law practice hosted women articling students, helping women establish law careers in male-dominated spaces. She was awarded an honourary doctorate from the University of Ottawa in 2003.

Shirley E. Greenberg also became a noted philanthropist. In 2005, she endowed the Shirley E. Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession in the Common Law Section of the Faculty of Law, designated for feminist law faculty members. She established the Shirley E. Greenberg Women's Health Centre at the Ottawa Hospital’s Riverside campus, in 2005. In 2013 she funded the Shirley E. Greenberg Breast Cancer Imaging Suite at the Queensway Carleton Hospital. She established the Shirley E. Greenberg Resource Centre for Women at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

In 2014, Shirley Greenberg was awarded the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist honour by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), in 2014. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2009 and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, in 2012.

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.

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).

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.

Sylvia Spring

  • Persoon
  • 1942-
Sylvia Spring is born in Galt, Ontario on July 14, 1942. She is a Canadian feminist writer, filmmaker, and activist. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo in English Literature and Drama. After graduating, she wrote poetry and worked in advertising, journalism, radio, and television. In 1970, she produced Madeleine is…, the first Canadian English-language feature film directed by a woman since Nell Shipman in 1919. A segment of the film was released as a short feature under the name Madeleine and won an award at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 1970.
In 1979, she was appointed to the Task Force on Sex-Role Stereotyping in the Broadcast Media established by the Canadian minister responsible for the status of women. The Task Force was meant to examine the portrayal of women in popular media and developed guidelines for its improvement. Then, Sylvia Spring co-founded MediaWatch Canada, a watchdog organization dedicating to eliminating sexism in the media and became its first National Director. Sylvia Spring has spoken in national and international forums to raise awareness about the representation of women in the media. She has designed and facilitated workshops and lectures for agencies such as the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In January 2000, as a communication consultant, she travelled to China with Bonnie Diamond, NAWL’s executive Director, to conduct workshops with grassroots Chinese women on the information dissemination techniques used by women’s group in Canada (Nawl.ca, consulted 2021-06-02).
In 1995, she produced Voices and Visions, a documentary series from the UN World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China. In 1996, she produced the documentary Breaking the Silence: Stories from AIDS Activists in Southern Africa. The documentary tells the stories of women working at the front lines of the AIDS epidemic. In 2000, she produced 20th Century Gals (According to Babe), which explored the women's movement of the 20th century. In 2005, she co-produced Our bodies...their battleground, a documentary about the sexual violence crisis facing women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia.
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