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Importance of feminism in Canada to be discussed on campus

By Dale Johnson Posted: January 18, 2016 11:30 a.m.

Open Minds: Debating Public Issues presents: I'm not a Feminist But....A Brief History of Canadian Women's Activism. The event takes place at College Avenue Campus January 20 at 7 pm.
Open Minds: Debating Public Issues presents: I'm not a Feminist But....A Brief History of Canadian Women's Activism. The event takes place at College Avenue Campus January 20 at 7 pm. U of R Photography.

A public talk at the University of Regina will examine women’s activisim in Canada, and what it means to support women’s rights in Canada.

“Even though many people support the idea of social equality, they hesitate to identify as feminists. Yet it was the feminist movement that made important gains for women - such as the right to vote, to hold property, and to purchase birth control," explains one of the organizers, Donica Belisle, an assistant professor in the Department of History.

Donica Belisle
"There are still many milestones to overcome" - Donica Belisle

“I want to explore why so many people today are hesitant to identify as feminists. This forum, which is a dialogue between the university and the public, offers an excellent opportunity to do so. This event aims to enrich people’s awareness of the many meanings of feminism, and also its historic role in creating greater equality among Canadians,” Belisle says.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced a gender-balanced cabinet saying: "Because it's 2015."

“By putting more women into positions of power, Trudeau is signalling a new — and hopefully more equal, gender-wise at least — era in federal politics. It’s a great start. Indeed, although women are achieving important gains, there are still many milestones to overcome before it can be said that Canada has true gender equality,” says Belisle, who has organized this event along with Darlene Juschka, associate professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and Carmen Robertson, associate professor in the Visual Arts Department.

This talk will look at the definition of feminism, offering a brief history of Canadian women's struggles for equality, including the 1967 Royal Commission on the Status of Women to the launching of Take Back the Night Marches and the recently announced national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

“At its most basic, feminism can be considered the idea that all people are equal.  When people identify as feminists, they are suggesting that people of all genders should be granted the same forms of dignity, respect, and opportunity,” Belisle states.

Event:       I'm Not a Feminist But... A Brief History of Canadian Women's Activism

Date:         Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Location:   College Building, Room 106, College Avenue Campus