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Locating the Aboriginal Gender Gap

by Dimitrios Panagos and Allison Harell 

Social-welfare indicators place Aboriginal women at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, making them one of the most marginalized groups in Canada (NWA, 2006). A unique combination of colonialism, racism and sexism is the principal cause of Aboriginal women’s marginal status (Green 2001). It should not be surprising that these intersecting forms of oppression have led many Aboriginal women to believe that their interests differ substantially from the interests of non-Aboriginal women (Udel, 2001).

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Not just about the money: corporatization is weakening activism and empowering big business

by Genevieve LeBaron and Peter Dauvergne

At the beginning of the 1970s Greenpeace was a motley band of peaceniks and environmentalists living in our home province of British Columbia in Canada. Now the Amsterdam headquarters of Greenpeace manages a multimillion-dollar brand, with scores of branches worldwide, thousands of employees, and millions of financial supporters.

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International Women’s Day (IWD) and Human Rights 2014

by Veronica Strong-Boag

International Women’s Day on 8th March should be a key date in the human rights calendar. Its place is hard-won. When Charlotte Bunch, a leading figure in the creation of UN Women (2010), insisted in 1990 that women’s rights are human rights in the Human Rights Quarterly and Edward Broadbent, from the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, served in 1993 as a judge in the Vienna Tribunal on Women’s Human Rights, one half of humanity’s entitlement to fair dealing remained globally contested. That struggle continues.

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From British Liberties to Human Rights: The Canadian Case

by Ross Lambertson

In 1951 the United Nations adopted the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which can be seen as a logical corollary to the emphasis on human rights in the 1945 UN  Charter, as well as to its 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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From One Feminist Wave to the Next: Laura Emma Marshall Jamieson (1882-1964)

by Veronica Strong-Boag

The Suffrage and the Second Wave Women’s Movements have often been regarded as distinct. In fact, feminism never disappeared. Laura Marshall Jamieson, who joined BC’s Political Equality League before World War One and the Women’s Committee of the New Democratic Party a half a century later, exemplifies its persistence.

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Notes on The Women’s Forum, Yangon, Myanmar, December 6 -7, 2013

by Kathy Mezei

The Women’s Forum was held in Yangon, Myanmar, December 6 and 7, 2013, an event unimaginable a couple of years ago. Drawing 400 participants from 27 countries, the Forum was located at the midtown Chatrium, a now bustling 5 star hotel facing the scenic Kandawgi Lake, where 4 or 5 years ago, you could count the number of foreigners and tourists on one hand, with the occasional German or French tour group. This was a strikingly glamorous and incongruous event, sponsored by the French Embassy (which has been active in Myanmar for a number of years),* organized, for some odd reason, by a Yangon Modeling Agency (which explains the lineup of beautifully made up and costumed Burmese women who seemed flummoxed by our queries at the registration desk), and “partnered” by corporations such as PepsiCo, Total, ACCOR, BNP Paribas, L’Oréal.

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Suffrage Voiceless Speeches

by Alison Strobel

Oratory was a common mode of expression deployed in the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century US woman suffrage campaign, but during these years, women who spoke in public were thought to violate gender norms. By contrast, women who presented voiceless speeches, i.e. silently held or displayed placards that contained messages promoting their political agenda, were able to maintain social decorum while publically challenging gender norms. “A silent suffragist,” Jean Baker (2002) explains, would simply “stand in a shop window with a series of simple suffrage messages … displayed one-by-one to crowds who stopped to watch” (p. 167).

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Woman suffrage, eugenics, and eugenic feminism in Canada

by Cecily Devereux

The relationship of suffragism to the eugenics movement is certainly one of the most complicated and contentious aspects of the achievement of the vote for women in Canada. Many of the principles and people associated with suffragism are also associated with the ideas of the science of “race improvement” that had been named “eugenics” by Francis Galton in 1883. Galton (1822-1911), a half-cousin of Charles Darwin and a British scholar and explorer across a range of areas of study, was also a “proto-geneticist” whose writing on making “better” humans through controlled breeding provided the ground for a movement not only in Britain and the British Empire but, through the first quarter of the twentieth century, in many countries around the world. It is thus possible to make reference to a “eugenics movement” that is both nationally specific in its development and global in its spread.

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Women and the Provincial Vote in Nineteenth-Century British North America

by Colin Grittner

When one picks up a Canadian history textbook, the year 1916 usually receives special emphasis.  And so it should.  In 1916, Manitoba became the first province in Canadian history to grant women the right to vote.

If one flips backward through the textbook, the year 1851 will not feature so prominently.  British North America, as it was called, still only consisted of four sparsely populated colonies.  The Province of Canada (present-day Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island had only recently received their legislative independence.  New Brunswick would still have to wait a few more years for responsible government.  To the west, the Hudson’s Bay Company still laid claim to much of the land despite its First Nations majority.

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