October is now Canada’s National Women’s History Month


tay
#1
On October 27, 1893, a group of ladies met in the Horticultural Pavilion in Allan Gardens. The approximately 1,500 women had gathered that fall day to fight back against what they saw as increasing political polarization and partisanship.

The meeting was led by Lady Ishbel Aberdeen (external - login to view), the wife of then-governor general John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, the seventh Earl of Aberdeen. Lady Aberdeen was already the president of the International Council of Women (external - login to view) (ICW)—a position she held for 36 years, until 1936—and the organization she helped create that day in Toronto would become the National Council of Women of Canada, a member of the ICW.

Lady Aberdeen formed the council with the support of suffragettes such as Dr. Ann Augusta Stowe-Gullen (external - login to view), the first woman to get a medical degree in Canada. She also worked with Adelaide Hoodless (external - login to view), a reformer who advocated for better education for mothers, a cause she took up after her infant son died. Hoodless joined organizations such as the YWCA and also became concerned about families living far from health care.

She met Lady Aberdeen through her work and helped her found the National Council and the Victorian Order of Nurses (external - login to view) in 1897.
The council started in Toronto, although it’s now headquartered in Ottawa, and expanded across the country in those early years. The organization remained largely a white, Anglo group of women despite the expansion and its work to assist underprivileged and immigrant women.

The group also worked to have women appointed to boards and committees. The earliest win was in 1897, with women trustees appointed to a school board in New Westminster, B.C.

Despite support from suffragettes, the National Council (and the ICW) didn’t actively support the campaign for women’s right to vote as they were worried it was too divisive an issue in Canada.

The council eventually got on board and supported suffrage in 1910. By that time, the Women’s Literary Club in Toronto had been advocating for voting rights (external - login to view) since 1877.

During World War I, up until 1921, the council published Women’s Century magazine (external - login to view), which supported the war, a popular conservative stance, but also supported women’s suffrage. The goal of the council was to be acceptable to all sides while advocating for women. As Canadian Encyclopedia puts it (external - login to view), about the group’s interwar period, “Its middle-class respectability still sometimes made it a favourite of governments.” However, at the beginning, the encyclopedia also notes that the political establishment mocked Lady Aberdeen’s efforts and didn’t take her seriously.

The council’s goal was to make a space for women to bring forward ideas to a broad group of peers, avoiding the polarization of men’s political groups. The council fostered many women, including the Famous Five (external - login to view), who brought the persons case to court. The council was also involved in the case and supported it.

According to Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, which has erected a plaque in honour of the council at Allan Gardens, it “lobbied for wide-ranging reforms that helped build this country’s social safety net,” and “women learned political skills and found a political voice through the NCWC. They made their presence felt, campaigning for legal equality between men and women, protection for children, and other programs of benefit to Canadian families.”

Today, the group’s mission is “To empower all women to work together towards improving the quality of life for women, families, and society through a forum of member organizations and individuals.”

Meet The Group That Started Fighting for Women's Rights in the 1800s | culture | Torontoist (external - login to view)
 
Cannuck
+1
#2  Top Rated Post
How silly
 
Machjo
#3
Why exclude all women who aren't of Canadian nationality? Why not a world women's history month? Damn biggots!
 
Curious Cdn
#4
Is there a special "Women of Colour" section that fights bigotry and oppression by excluding whites?
 
MHz
#5
So basically the first gossip group made up of wives of the elite. I'm thinking raising the servants wages was not on the list of things talked about. Probably compared their husbands dick size (or lack of) more than anything.
 
Cannuck
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious CdnView Post

Is there a special "Women of Colour" section that fights bigotry and oppression by excluding whites?

Yes, it is but one subsection of set of subsections. There is, for example, the missing pregnant lesbian Aboriginal women with disabilities section.
 
Machjo
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by MHzView Post

So basically the first gossip group made up of wives of the elite. I'm thinking raising the servants wages was not on the list of things talked about. Probably compared their husbands dick size (or lack of) more than anything.

Where I worked years ago, one of my male colleagues was a real skirt chaser, quite the turn off. But for some reason he always liked to come to me and tell me about his exploits as if I wanted to know.

Then one day I walked into the staff kitchen full of women to overhear a female colleague telling the others how she wanted to open her legs for a handome man she'd met. I realised then that men don't have the monopoly on casual sex talk among friends.
 
Johnnny
#8
Like most Canadians, men and women both obviously then you don't care what theme the month is in.

Grammer sucks
 
Curious Cdn
#9
I'm waiting for the "Festival of Whiteness" when the German army goes on the march, again.
 
Johnnny
#10
I'm waiting for the day that the "Big Lebowski" gets a month for the religion of dude ism... lol
 
Machjo
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious CdnView Post

I'm waiting for the "Festival of Whiteness" when the German army goes on the march, again.


International White History Month aught to be held in January when everything is so snowy white.
 
Johnnny
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

International White History Month aught to be held in January when everything is so snowy white.

Especially since walleye and lake trout open for business in zone 10 ontario. Nothing whiter than ice fishing, drinking beer in January
 
Curious Cdn
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by JohnnnyView Post

Especially since walleye and lake trout open for business in zone 10 ontario. Nothing whiter than ice fishing, drinking beer in January

Yup. The "new" Canadians are hunkered down low, then not quite believing what they have done by coming here.
 
darkbeaver
#14
The proliferation of these days weeks and months devoted to special interest groups has got stupid stamped all over them from the beginning.
 
Machjo
#15
I think midnight should be declared Black History Hour.
 
darkbeaver
#16
I think people like me should have a special day at least set aside to recognize thier contributions to society. It's time for Limps With The left Leg Week in Canada.
 
Machjo
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaverView Post

I think people like me should have a special day at least set aside to recognize thier contributions to society. It's time for Limps With The left Leg Week in Canada.


In what week of the year is black ice on the sidewalk most prevalent? I'd pick a week in February myself.
 

Similar Threads

15
Black History Month In Canada
by Liberalman | Feb 22nd, 2010
10
October deadliest month in Iraq
by #juan | Nov 22nd, 2006
no new posts