Politics as if Women Mattered: A Political Analysis of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women
The National Action Committee on the Status of Women marked the twentieth anniversary of its founding in 1992. Today, it is the umbrella organization for roughly six hundred women’s groups in Canada. The authors of this study argue that, if women’s movements are to achieve their equality goals, they must develop enduring institutions that allow women’s efforts to be organized over the course of several generations. The authors examine the process of institutionalization through an in-depth study of the National Action Committee.
In the belief that women’s movements in Canada have become more or less permanent features of the political system, operating parallel to its official structures, the author argue the need for a feminist political science that can accommodate the study of both women’s politics in their autonomous movements and women’s conventional activities in official politics. Indeed, this book undertakes political analysis ‘as if women mattered’: it focuses on women’s interests and draws on feminist theory while remaining connected to the broad framework of political science.
The book documents NAC’s evolution as a ‘parliament of women.’ It shows how the organization moved from a fairly narrow status-of-women focus in its policies to a broadly conceived policy framework that linked such apparently sex-neutral issues as free trade, federalism, and taxation to feminism. Although the more comprehensive feminist approach to public policy proved dangerous for NAC in a conservative era, it also solidified its role and reputation as a major play in equality-seeking politics in Canada.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 366 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationJill Vickers is Distinguished Research Professor and Emeritus Chancellor's Professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University.
Pauline Rankin is an instructor in the School of Canadian Studies, Carleton University.
Christine Appelle is a psychotherapist in private practice in Ottawa.
Subjects and Courses