Since historically men’s position used to be superior to the one of women, feminist ideas have been brewing in the society for quite long. It is possible to claim that in Canada the feminist movement began since the famous statement of Angela Davis reported in 19891.
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In spite of the fact that the feminism movement has been hindered and oppressed, one can say with certainty that women have achieved certain progress fighting for their rights. Thus, the government has provided special programs for the women suffering from abuse at home.2
Historically, Canada was designed to be the country where the first feminist revolution was bound to happen. Since the country has witnessed certain feminist movements and feminist ideas emerging often, the idea of feminism has been formed here since the times immemorial, though it was connected then with the issues of liberalism.3
Considering the feminist theories which have been suggested since then, one can see clear distinction between its aspects. Tracing the latter, it is possible to understand the essence of women’s struggle. The famous Quebec movement4 will remain the clear-cut example of women’s feminism movement.
Thus, liberal theory which the feminist ideology roots from comprises the liberal and the feminist ideas; social feminism aims at offering women the social roles which were initially designed only for men; and, finally, radical feminism suggests for women to play greater role in organizations. However, at present the social and the radical theories have fused into a single entity.5
It is quite peculiar that the ideas of feminism can be intertwined with the concepts of liberal democracy rather easily. Thus, it can be considered that the liberal democracy and feminism have much in common, namely, they are both aimed at providing people with their indefeasible rights. With help of liberal democracy, feminism ideas can be accepted in the society.6
Due to the active support and their own determination, a number of Canadian Women have achieved great success not only in the politics of Canada, but also all over the world. Two most splendid examples, Dr. Norma E. Walmsley and Suzanne Johnson, have participated in the Women’s Tribune in Mexico.7
However, a life of a Canadian woman involved in politics is a train of challenges to face. They are supposed to meet the requirements, nearing the same political responsibilities as men do, which creates certain problems. Despite the endless attempts to establish equality in politics, women are still nominated times more seldom than men are.8
In addition, the Canadian culture is not ready yet to witness women as politicians. Mass media is another problem – women are still “regarded as novelty”9 by most Canadian journalists. Often women are reluctant to continue the struggle, knowing what opposition they will have to face. However, Canadian women do not despair and resort to numerous political means to fight these challenges.
It must be admitted that the life of Canadian women engaged in politics proves extremely challenging, yet they find efficient ways to prove their right for political freedom. According to the researches held, women are still eager to have equal opportunities in politics and coordinate the state together with men.
In conclusion, it would be possible to suggest that the feminist movement will progress until women have the same political and social rights as men do. One of the main reasons for feminism is not the desire to overrun men in their social position, but to gain respect in the sphere of politics.
Backhouse, Constance and David H. Flaherty. Challenging Times: The Women’s Movement in Canada and the United States. Montreal, CA: McGill-Queens University Press, 1992.
Jaggar, Alison M. and Iris M. Young. A Companion to Feminist Philosophy. New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell, 2000.
Macvlor, Heather. Women and Politics in Canada. Toronto, CA: University of Toronto Press, 1996.
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Megyery, Kathy. Women in Canada Politics: Towards Equity in Representation. Toronto, CA: Dundurn Press, Ltd. 1991.
Newman, Stephen L. Constitutional Politics in Canada and the United States. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2004.
Pierson, Ruth and Marjorie Griffin Cohen. Canadian Women’s Issues: Bold Visions. Halifax, CA: James Lorimer & Company, Ltd., 1995.
Young, Lisa. Feminists and Party Politics. British Columbia, CA: University of British Columbia Press, 2000.
1 Stephen L. Newman. Constitutional Politics in Canada and the United States (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2004), 116
2 Ruth Pierson and Marjorie Griffin Cohen. Canadian Women’s Issues: Bold Visions. (Halifax, CA: James Lorimer & Company, Ltd., 1995), 464
3 Ruth Pierson and Marjorie Griffin Cohen. Canadian Women’s Issues: Bold Visions.
(Halifax, CA: James Lorimer & Company, Ltd., 1995), 418
4 Constance Backhouse and David H. Flaherty. Challenging Times: The Women’s Movement in Canada and the United States. (Montreal, CA: McGill-Queens University Press, 1992.), 75
5 Lisa Young. Feminists and Party Politics (British Columbia, CA: University of British Columbia Press, 2000), 55
6 Alison M. Jaggar and Iris M. Young. A Companion to Feminist Philosophy (New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell, 2000), 519
7Ruth Pierson and Marjorie Griffin Cohen. Canadian Women’s Issues: Bold Visions. (Halifax, CA: James Lorimer & Company, Ltd., 1995), 370
8 Kathy Megyery. Women in Canada Politics: Towards Equity in Representation (Toronto, CA: Dundurn Press, Ltd. 1991), 33
9 Heather Macvlor. Women and Politics in Canada (Toronto, CA: University of Toronto Press, 1996), 290