Explore posts on people and organizations!

Anna Heilman, a Holocaust Hero

by Georgina Taylor

In 2001, when Never Far Away: The Auschwitz Chronicle of Anna Heilman was launched in Ottawa, Heilman said her “older sister Estusia” was:

not only my sister and my best friend. She is also my hero. But who she was and what she did have meaning for more than me, her sister. As a Jew, she was a hero for all Jews. As a woman, she was a hero for all women. As a human being, she is a hero for all of us. Though she is known to history for her part and her fate, Estusia’s story has never been told. It is time.

Read the full post here!

Gladys Strum (4 February 1906 – 15 August 2005)

by Georgina Taylor

Gladys Strum, who made an exceptional contribution to political life in Canada, joined the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) two years after the first convention in Regina in 1933. A down-to-earth farm woman from Windthorst in southeast Saskatchewan, she became a CCF candidate in seven elections, when women politicians were “vastly out-numbered,” between feminism’s first and second wave.

Read the full post here!

Valentine’s Day 1916, A Day of Triumph for The Women of Saskatchewan

by Georgina M. Taylor 

On Valentine’s Day in 1916 Saskatchewan suffragists converged on the Legislative Building in Regina. They had been invited to attend the Legislative Assembly by Walter Scott, the besieged Premier, who apparently hoped his invitation would be seen as chivalrous.

Read the full post here!

A discussion with Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran

by Grace Lore

Women remain under-represented in politics the world over and Canada is no exception. While municipal politics was once thought to provide a better opportunity for women to enter into and participate in politics, it is far from certain.  According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, less than 25% of all city counselors are women and women comprise a mere 16% of all mayors.

Read the full post here!

A Class Act: Grace Hartman (1918-1993)

by Veronica Strong-Boag

In 2001, sociologist Meg Luxton reminded us that Canadian feminism has always been a “Class Act”. In doing so, she highlighted a core aspect of intersectional theory that is only too readily forgotten in North America, albeit perhaps less so in monarchial Canada than in republican USA. In fact, class (or rank) is a central feature of most societies, a key determinant of opportunity and well-being, and a factor that sometimes overshadows race, sexuality, and gender.

Read the full post here!

From London Suffragette to Vancouver Suffragist: Helena Rose Gutteridge (1879-1960)

by Veronica Strong-Boag

Much like today’s women’s movements, the suffrage cause drew great strength from a world-wide constituency. Pioneers such as Britain’s Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928), the USA’s Harriot Stanton Blatch (1856-1940), and Canada’s Nellie L. McClung (1872-1951) toured well beyond their own nations and their words encouraged global sympathies. Women of all stations in life carried political loyalties with them as visitors and emigrants to other lands. Helena Rose Gutteridge was just such a dedicated transplant from London to the far flung shores of the British Empire in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Read the full post here!

For Racial and Women’s Equality: the Politics of Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893)

by Veronica Strong-Boag

Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Black abolitionist, publisher, teacher, and suffragist, embodied feminism’s early potential for challenging ignorance and creating partnerships among justice seekers. Her columns in the Ontario newspaper, the Provincial Freeman, and contributions to the Colored Women’s Progressive Franchise Association in the U.S. carved out space for diverse voices in the construction of a broader democracy. Contemporaries were urged to embrace multiple campaigns, to fight slavery, segregation, and the oppression of women, and to widen the franchise.

Read the full post here!

The Daughter of the Red Land—Madame Yan Li

by Huai Bao

A veteran of twenty-five years in Canada, a professor, novelist, literary prize winner, recipient of many awards and grants, and a finalist for Books in Canada’s First Novel Award, Madame Yan Li (1955-) is certainly not an ordinary woman. She has been called the “Jane Eyre of China” by readers and fans due to her inspirational life experiences—a “dreams-come-true” process of struggling for self-actualization (Zhao, 2012). Her novels also offer points of entry for understanding the relationship between female immigrants and Canadian feminism and between immigrants and the promise of Canadian democracy.

Read the full post here!

Jane Austen

by June Sturrock

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was the seventh of the eight children of George Austen, rector of Steventon in Hampshire, and his wife, Cassandra Leigh.  This large and lively family provided Austen with her first audience, for, like the Brontë sisters, from childhood onwards she was dedicated to literature and, more specifically, the art of fiction.  Her juvenilia, complete with the occasional drunken heroine or light-fingered hero, took on both social and literary conventions and reduced them to nonsense.

Read the full post here!