Representatives from 32 women’s groups formed the Committee for the Equality of Women in Canada (CEWC) on May 3, 1966, to lobby for a royal commission on the status of women.
Laura Sabia, President of the Canadian Federation of University Women, organized a meeting of representatives from 32 women’s groups. Fifty women attended, representing 32 organizations such as the National Council of Women, the YWCA, Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Zontas, Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE), the Federation of Women Teachers’ Associations of Ontario, Voice of Women, and the Catholic Women’s League. They agreed to form the Committee for the Equality of Women in Canada (CEWC) and to lobby for a royal commission on the status of women. The Committee organized a major campaign, including extensive media coverage. Judy LaMarsh, the only woman in the Cabinet and Secretary of State from 1965 to 1968, supported their efforts. Laura Sabia threatened a march of two million women on Parliament Hill if the government did not implement a commission.