Fonds 10-085 - Ontario Women's Action Coalition (OWAC) fonds

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Ontario Women's Action Coalition (OWAC) fonds

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

CA ON0034 10-085

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  • 1987-1995 (Creation)
    Ontario Women's Action Coalition / Coalition des femmes de L'Ontario

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Physical description

51 cm of textual records
3 photographs : 10x15cm ; col
11 audiocassette tapes

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Administrative history

The Ontario Women's Action Coalition / Coalition des femmes de l'Ontario (OWAC) was founded in 1990 as an attempt to support provincial organizing and mobilization of women in Ontario. Operating alongside the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC), OWAC sought to provide women's groups and women's committees in Ontario with a forum for communication, outreach, and policy development. The coalition faced many challenges, most of which were related to a lack of funding. Their establishment corresponded with a period of austerity and the end of numerous funding programs coordinated by Status of Women Canada. As their archival records demonstrate, OWAC members were primarily concerned with health care, welfare and other social programs, employment equity, violence against women, constitutional reform, and community economic development initiatives. Significantly, OWAC sought to address the equality of women in general rather than focus on a single issue. In the short time that OWAC existed, their most ambitious project was a consultation which focused on providing women across Ontario with a forum for influencing amendments to the Canadian constitution, a topic of debate at the time due to the attempted Meech Lake Accord (1987) and Charlottetown Accord (1992).

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Scope and content

The fonds contain written records, surveys, and audiocassette tapes from OWAC constitutional consultations which took place across Ontario, the correspondence and records of OWAC coordinator Janet Maher, textual material related to OWAC's work on health care, child care, community economic development, labour, employment equity, and cutbacks to social programs. As the records demonstrate, OWAC's work primarily involved lobbying the Ontario government under NDP Premier Bob Rae (1990-1995) and PC Premier Mike Harris (1995-2002). Like their National affiliate, the NAC, OWAC struggled to survive in the wake of funding cuts by the Mulroney and Chretien federal governments.

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  • English
  • French

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