The Women’s Press (Canadian Women’s Educational Press)


Adapted from Women’s Press materials and other sources

The Canadian Women’s Educational Press, commonly known as The Women’s Press began operating in Toronto in 1972 as a small feminist publishing group committed to making writing by, for, and about Canadian women widely available. It was founded by several members of Discussion Group No. 6 of the Toronto Women’s Liberation Movement after numerous publishers rejected a book of essays that they had developed to address the lack of information about the Canadian feminist movement. Initially funded through a federal government grant, Women’s Press was the first English-language feminist publisher and played a foundational role in fostering the rapid growth of feminist writing in Canada.

Set up as a non-profit, The Women’s Press operated on a collective basis with both paid and unpaid members participating in policy and other decision-making. People with The Women’s Press also rotated the work involved so everyone could learn all the skills of publishing.

The Press’s first publication, Women Unite was an anthology of articles of historical and political significance to the women’s movement. including “Sisters, Brothers, Lovers …. Listen … from the early stages. Other articles addressed alternatives to the family, methods of child care, the situation of working women, the politics of sex, strategy for women’s liberation. and a bibliography of material on Canadian women, among other topics.

Later Women’s Press publications included non-sexist books for children, adult fiction, theoretical essays, and historical studies. It also published The Everywoman’s Almanac, a very popular annual diary and calendar. Each almanac was focused around a specific theme, using illustrations, interviews, photos, and drawings to describe different  issues of  concern to women.

In 1988 an internal dispute about a proposed anti-racist policy resulted in some members leaving to form Second Story Press.

Founding of The Canadian Women’s Educational Press – Article in Pedestal, Vol. 8, No. 4

The Women’s Press (Canadian Women’s Educational Press) Documents

Title Date Region
The Women’s Press – Books for Fall 1981 National (all of Canada)
The Women’s Press 1981 – 82: Catalogue 1981 National (all of Canada)
Women Unite!: An Anthology of the Canadian Women’s Movement 1972 National (all of Canada)