The Ontario Women’s Action Coalition was a relatively short-lived attempt to support the regional mobilization and advocacy of women in Ontario in parallel to the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC). Like the NAC, the Coalition focused on bringing together women’s groups and women’s committees of larger organizations, and in some important ways, constituted an attempt to provide a voice for Ontario women who had often sought to make the NAC, headquartered in Toronto, both their national and regional organization.
The Ontario Women’s Action Coalition was founded in 1990, corresponding with the demise of much of the Status of Women machinery and funding originally established and enhanced in the generation following the 1967 release of the findings of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women Canada. From the outset, it faced challenges as a coalition of groups at a period when the political focus of many activists had shifted from generic advocacy on the status of women to work on specific issues, for example, violence against women, employment, and pay equity. An added challenge, with the election of the NDP government in the fall of 1990, was the migration of some key activists to serve the new government either as members of the legislature or as their main political advisers.