Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)/ Institut canadien de recherches sur les femmes (ICREF)

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The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW-ICREF) is a research institute that provides tools to facilitate organizations taking action to advance social justice and equality for all women. It is the only Canadian women’s organization focused exclusively on nurturing feminist research and making it accessible for public advocacy and education. It is a bilingual, non-profit, member-based organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, and run by a small staff in Ottawa. CRIAW-ICREF’s activities have been funded at different times by a range of sources including the labour movement, the Government of Canada, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Social Science Federation of Canada, membership fees (individual and institutional), donations, and the sale of publications, amongst others.

CRIAW-ICREF was founded by feminists—academics, community members, and activists–in the wake of International Women’s Year (1975) to respond to the lack of existing research on women and women’s experiences. Following a founding conference in April 1976 in Ottawa, CRIAW-ICREF was established with the goal to “encourage, coordinate, and disseminate research into women’s experience and to ensure an equal place for women and women’s experience in the body of knowledge and research about Canada, its people, culture, economy, and politics.”

Since, CRIAW-ICREF has supported, commissioned, conducted and celebrated an extraordinary range of research projects that address the experiences of women in Canada. A few of CRIAW-ICREF’s notable projects include: Women’s Involvement in Political Life, a widely disseminated pilot study commissioned by UNESCO (1985-1988); a Community Resource Kit on new reproductive technologies used extensively by other organizations preparing briefs for the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies (1988-1990); coordination and dissemination of Canadian women’s engagement in the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing. More recently, CRIAW-ICREF has produced a series of publications on intersectional feminist frameworks including introductory primers for students, research guides, and tools for incorporating intersectional practices within the policies of social justice organizations, as well as an “Inclusive Practices Toolkit” in collaboration with DAWN-RAFH Canada.

Some of its current research projects include participatory action research on the social, political and cultural effects of economic development in northern Canada for women (FemNorthNet) and pan-Canadian research on the impacts of changes to public service employment and delivery on women (Changing Public Services). As of 2016, CRIAW-ICREF celebrates its 40th anniversary, and continues to provide tools and information to help organizations take action to advance social justice and equality for all women.

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)/ Institut canadien de recherches sur les femmes (ICREF) Documents

Title Date Region
Making the Links/Insister sur les liens -Anti-Racism and Feminism Conference Anti-racism et Féminisme 1992 National (all of Canada)

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Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)/ Institut canadien de recherches sur les femmes (ICREF)

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