“Working Women Unite! Feminist Unions and Labour Organizations in Western Canada, 1970-1990.”
Dr. Julia Smith
Wednesday, Nov. 27,12-1 p.m.Tory 2-48, U of A Campus
Free coffee, bring your own mug.
Abstract: Although the term “women’s movement” is often used to describe feminist activity, in reality distinct differences exist between the people and groups who engage in feminist activism. This talk will examine the feminist unions and labour organizations that women in Western Canada established in the 1970s and 1980s to address gender inequality at work and in society. These groups represented a range of political perspectives and used different tools and strategies to achieve their aims. Nevertheless, they had a common goal of eliminating sex-based disadvantages and a shared belief that women needed to use their power as workers to address the inequality they faced as women. Together, they made significant contributions to struggles to reduce gender inequality at work, in the labour movement, and in Canadian society.
Biography: Julia Smith is a Banting Fellow and Honorary Grant Notley Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta. She studies the political economy of labour relations in Canada and the history and politics of women’s labour activism.