Women´S Movement In Canada Essay

1476 words - 6 pages

Many Canadian women in the twentieth century took their given human rights for granted, and little did they know that just merely 50 years ago, women had to fight for their rights on freedom to abort a child and equal wages on identical vocations. Before the Women’s Movement began, women have been considered to have the submissive, secondary role. Women’s Rights have seen drastic changes as women realized their potential to do everything men can do. Canadians have fought determinedly for their changed views on women’s rights during the Feminist Movement on subjects such as legalizing abortion, decriminalizing birth control education and usage, and also through establishing the Royal ...view middle of the document...

This set the starting point of the 20 year struggle for the freedom of abortion. Morgentaler never backed down on his standpoint on abortion in spite of the many hardships faced from 1969 to 1988; his many clinics have been raided 3 times, he himself have gone to jail for 10 months, and juries in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have acquitted him in 12 different court cases. He fought persistently for his belief that women deserve freedom over their own reproductive systems, and he wasn’t the only Canadian that also opposed the law; a group of determined feminists called The Vancouver Women organised the first female protest of Second Wave Feminism, a 2 day political opposition to the abortion law. They traveled from Vancouver to Ottawa for 3000 miles, convincing many women to join their cause along the way. In the end, they had 500 participants where 35 women chained themselves to the parliamentary gallery, closing the Parliament for the first time in Canadian History. This group of strong-willed women fought for what they believed through a demonstration against the abortion legislation, but protests and demonstrations was not the only way Canadians worked towards bringing change for the rights of women; Canadians also raised awareness towards the issue through public discussion in various magazines. Throughout 1960s, Canadians attempted to promote legalised abortion though the English and French versions of Chatelaine, a campaign by the Globe and Mail, and also through a popular newspaper called The United Church Observer. By the time the Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect in 1982, the abortion law was finally struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada as unconstitutional because it contravened Section 7 of the Charter, violating a woman's right to “life, liberty, and security as a person”. In conclusion, just a century ago, abortion was thought to have a “tendency to corrupt morals” ; as the views on this controversial subjects changed, Canadians demonstrated and protested for the cause of liberating the law that transformed Canadian women’s rights to the privileged rights we have today.
Under the 1892 Criminal Code, it was illegal to “sell, advertise, publish and advertisement of or has sale or disposal any medicine, drug, or article intended or represented as a means of preventing conception or causing an abortion”. Before birth control was constitutional, Canadians had to work together to create organizations and challenge the legislation to decriminalize the usage and education of birth control. From the 1920s, “under the counter” purchases or homemade methods were used by the few couples that were informed; and by 1960, the birth control pill introduced but was only legal to prescribed it for therapeutic reasons rather than for birth control. To make birth control more widely available to Canadians legally, Canadians got together and created SERENA (Service de Réglation des Naissances) in 1955 ...

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