By Linda Briskin, Mona Eliasson
Read or Download Women's Organizing and Public Policy in Canada and Sweden by Linda Briskin (1999-12-01) PDF
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Extra resources for Women's Organizing and Public Policy in Canada and Sweden by Linda Briskin (1999-12-01)
It would be naive to suggest that in Canada women have won the right to call themselves feminists without risks and costs. The very successes of the feminist movement have brought out a strong, although minority, right-wing anti-feminist voice. The association of "feminist" with man-hating militance is no longer so strong; now it is perhaps the very legitimacy of feminism that is seen to be threatening. Significantly, Kim Campbell, the first, but short-lived, woman prime minister of Canada and a member of the right wing of the Progressive Conservative Party, calls herself a feminist.
The role of women's organizing in effecting such gains can be hypothesized. But there is some difficulty, as others have noted,18 in reliably assessing the impact of such organizing. This book attempts to address this problem by examining and evaluating women's organizing in specific domestic and political arenas. Clearly, women's organizing cannot be given full credit for the many changes in the last three decades. However, the problem has generally been that its role in breaking the silence about issues such as violence, in pressuring governments to pass legislation and increase funding, and in changing social consciousness has been invisible.
The membership of some organizations is heterogeneous; others are more homogeneous, with specific constituencies such as immigrant women, lesbians, women of colour, business and professional women, or women in trades. All are shaped by the historical context and the political, economic, and social conditions that they face. Some use traditional methods of organizing themselves; others have developed unconventional structures and strategies. Suzanne Staggenborg (1995: 343) notes that "the main distinction ...