Organizations

Feminists organizing gave rise to numerous new groups that came in many forms. Women organized in workplaces, schools, religious centres, unions, families, households, and communities. They set up study circles, held consciousness-raising sessions, formed caucuses and committees, built coalitions, and established grassroots autonomous women’s groups. Some were long-lasting; others short-lived. Some brought women together on a single issue, others on a more comprehensive political ideology. Many created alternative services and supports for women. There were feminist bookstores and publishing initiatives as well as many other women-based and operated enterprises.

During this era, feminists critiqued and challenged traditional structures and ways of organizing that sidelined women and denied access to any real power. Alternatives were experimented with, and new feminist models and process emerged. Over time, Indigenous, racialized and immigrant women, women with disabilities, and lesbians raised criticisms about discrimination and oppression. This provoked new scrutiny of feminist practices.

Existing women’s organizations, some dating from the 19th century, also felt the impact of feminist activism. These groups already played an important role in fostering women’s leadership and services in many communities. Many now become directly involved in advocating on women’s equality issues.

Feminists in the union movement, political parties, and various progressive groups working on other causes also demanded more space for women’s leadership and participation, and a greater engagement on women’s equality issues.

Title Date Region
A Snapshot of Some Feminist Initiatives in Guelph, Ontario Early 1970s 1971 - -- Ontario
Action Day Care 1979 - -- Ontario
Alberta Status of Women Action Committee 1976 - 1997 Alberta
Black Women’s Collective (BWC) 1986 - 1989 Ontario
Canadian Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL) / L’Association canadienne pour le droits à l’avortement (ACDA) 1973 - 1999 or later National (all of Canada)
Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) / Conseil consultatif canadien sur la situation de la femme (CCCSF) 1973 - 1995 National (all of Canada)
Canadian Auto Workers / United Auto Workers in Canada -- - -- National (all of Canada)
Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women (CCLOW) 1979 - 1999 or later National (all of Canada)
Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)/ Fédération canadienne des femmes dîplomées des universités (FCFDU) pre-1960 - -- National (all of Canada)
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) / Congrès du travail du Canada (CTC) -- - -- National (all of Canada)
Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)/ Institut canadien de recherches sur les femmes (ICREF) 1976 - -- National (all of Canada)
Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) / L’Association canadienne pour la promotion des services de garde à l’enfance (ACPSGE) 1982 - -- National (all of Canada)
Congress of Black Women of Canada (CBWC) / Congrès des femmes noires du Canada 1973 - -- National (all of Canada)
Daycare Reform Action Alliance -- - -- Ontario
DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN Canada) / Réseau d’action des femmes handicapées du Canada (RAFH Canada) 1985 - -- National (all of Canada)
Edmonton Working Women 1982 - -- Alberta
Equal Pay Coalition of Ontario 1977 - -- Ontario
Feminist Party of Canada 1979 - -- National (all of Canada)
INTERCEDE for the Rights of Domestic Workers, Caregivers and Newcomers 1979 - 1999 or later National (all of Canada)
International Women’s Day Committee (IWDC) / Toronto Socialist Feminist Action (TFSA) 1978 - 1992 Ontario
International Women’s Day/March 8th Coalition 1977 - 1999 or later Ontario
Jewish Feminist Anti-Fascist League (JFAFL) 1992 - -- Ontario
Jewish Women’s Committee to End the Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (JWCEO) 1989 - -- Ontario
Kootenay Feminism -- - -- British Columbia
La fédération des femmes du Québec -- - -- Quebec
Lesbian Mother’s Defense Fund (LMDF) 1978 - 1987 Ontario
Lesbian Organization of Toronto (LOOT) 1976 - 1980 Ontario
Lesbians Against the Right 1981 - -- Ontario
Manitoba Action Committee on the Status of Women 1971 - -- Manitoba
National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) / Comité canadien d’action sur le statut de la femme (CCA) 1971 - -- National (all of Canada)
National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) / Association nationale Femmes et Droit (ANFD) 1974 - -- National (all of Canada)
National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women (NOIVMWC) 1986 - -- National (all of Canada)
Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) / L’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada (AFAC) 1974 - -- National (all of Canada)
New Feminists 1969 - -- Ontario
Newfoundland Status of Women Councils 1972 - -- Newfoundland and Labrador
Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics (OCAC) 1982 - -- Ontario
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (formerly Ontario Coalition for Better Day Care) 1982 - -- Ontario
Ontario Federation of Labour Women’s Committee 1976 - -- Ontario
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) pre-1960 - -- Ontario
Ontario Women’s Action Coalition (OWAC) 1990 - -- Ontario
Organized Working Women (OWW) 1976 - -- Ontario
Political Action Collective of the Ottawa Women’s Centre/Feminist Action Collective (Ottawa)/ Local 7, SORWUC, 1977- 1982 1977 - 1982 Ontario
Regina Native Women’s Association -- - -- Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Action Committee, Status of Women -- - -- Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Working Women 1978 - 1990 Saskatchewan
Sister Vision Press 1985 - 1999 or later
The Woman’s Common 1988 - 1994 Ontario
Voice of Women (VOW) 1960 - -- National (all of Canada)
Winnipeg Women’s Liberation 1969 - -- Manitoba
Women Against Violence Against Women -- - -- National (all of Canada)
Women Working With Immigrant Women -- - -- Ontario
Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes (WGSRF) 1982 - -- National (all of Canada)
Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) / Fonds d’action et d’éducation juridiques pour les femmes (FAEJ) 1985 - -- National (all of Canada)
Womonspace 1981 - 1999 or later Alberta
YWCA Canada pre-1960 - -- National (all of Canada)