The Toronto Women’s Caucus (TWC) was formed in 1970 and quickly became a strong organization in the growing women’s movement, emphasizing the need for women to come together in collective mass struggle against women’s oppression.
In the summer of 1970, the TWC also launched Velvet Fist as a cross-Canada feminist newspaper aimed at mobilizing mass action by women on different campaigns, as well as playing an educational role.
Following the Saskatoon conference in November 1970, the first national conference of the women’s movement in Canada, the TWC began to focus its efforts on building a national abortion campaign. By the fall of 1971, however, the group began to experience internal disagreements over this orientation, with some members arguing the group was becoming overly identified with this one issue and should take a multi-issue approach.
Over the spring, members of the League for Socialist Action/Young Socialists, who had played a significant role in the founding and direction of the TWC, began to shift their attention into the newly formed provincial coalition being organized on repealing the abortion law. At the same time, many other new feminist groups, causes, and periodicals were developing and drawing away other members, with the result that the TWC, along with the Velvet Fist, declined.
In June 1972 a general meeting held to discuss the future of the group decided that the TWC would move its offices to the Women’s Place. Shortly after that, the TWC stopped meeting. Discussions were also held about merging the Velvet Fist with The Other Woman and Bellyful, two other Toronto-based feminist papers.