Cover: Feminism’s Fight: Challenging Politics and Policies in Canada since 1970, edited by Barbara Cameron and Meg Luxton. Black-and-white photo: several women of various ages and races at the front of a march.
392 pages, 6 x 9
1 b&w photo
Release Date:01 Feb 2024
Release Date:01 Jun 2023
Release Date:01 Jun 2023
Release Date:01 Jun 2023

Feminism’s Fight

Challenging Politics and Policies in Canada since 1970

UBC Press

Feminism’s Fight explores and assesses feminist strategies to advance gender justice for women through Canadian federal policy from the 1970s to the present. It tells the crucial story of a transformation in how feminism has been treated by governments and asks how new ways of organizing and emerging alliances can advance a feminist agenda of social and economic equality.

This timely collection examines the ideas that feminists have put forward in pursuit of the goal of equality and traces the shifting frameworks employed by governments in response. The authors evaluate changing government orientations through the 1970s to 2020, revealing the negative impact on women’s lives and the challenges posed for feminists. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the sexism, misogyny, and related systemic inequalities that remain widespread. Yet it has also revived feminist mobilization and animated calls for a new and comprehensive equality agenda for Canada.

Feminism’s Fight asks two key questions: What are the lessons from feminist engagement with federal government policy over fifty years? And what kinds of transformative policy demands will achieve the feminist goal of social and economic equality?

This work will be invaluable for researchers, graduate students, and faculty in gender and women’s studies, political science, sociology, history, and social work. It will also appeal to readers engaged in work relating to, or with an interest in, inequality, social justice, and activism.

The fiftieth anniversary of the report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the persistence of the unequal socio-political systems investigated by the commission. Feminism’s Fight offers a stocktaking of the period since the RCSW, exploring the often troublesome legacy of the commission. Many of the contributions adopt an intersectional and/or anti-colonial lens, drawing on the best of feminist scholarship to offer a balanced assessment of the lasting impact of the RCSW. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in gender and politics in Canada and beyond. Stephanie L. Paterson, professor, Political Science, Concordia University

Barbara Cameron is an associate professor in the Department of Politics at York University and a research associate at York’s Centre for Feminist Research. She has served on the Steering Committee of the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action since 2008. Meg Luxton is a professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at York University. She has served as director of the graduate program in Women’s Studies/Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies and of the Centre for Feminist Research. Her publications include More Than a Labour of Love: Three Generations of Women’s Work in the Home and (with Susan Braedley) Neoliberalism and Everyday Life.

Contributors: Nicole S. Bernhardt, Linda Briskin, Barbara Cameron, Alana Cattapan, Shelagh Day, Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Tammy Findlay, Amber J. Fletcher, Christina Gabriel, Lise Gotell, Meg Luxton, Pamela Palmater, Ann Porter

Part 1: Challenging Dominant Paradigms

1 From the Status of Women to Gender Justice for Women / Barbara Cameron and Meg Luxton

2 Sex Discrimination in the Indian Act: A Tool of Forced Assimilation / Shelagh Day and Pamela Palmater

Part 2: Reclaiming the Economy

3 Feminism Meets Macroeconomic Policy / Barbara Cameron

4 Never Done: The Challenge of Unpaid Work in the Home / Meg Luxton

5 Fifty Years for Farm Women: Gender and Shifting Agricultural Policy Paradigms in Canada / Amber J. Fletcher

Part 3: Reimagining Policy

6 Policy Discourses on Sexual Violence: From the Royal Commission to the (Post-)Neoliberal State / Lise Gotell

7 Responsibility and Reproduction after the Royal Commission / Alana Cattapan

8 The Royal Commission and Immigration and Citizenship: A Missed Opportunity? / Christina Gabriel

9 Securing Income, Sustaining Livelihoods: Th e Royal Commission, Social Reproduction, and Income Security / Ann Porter

Part 4: Reframing Representation

10 Strategic, Cynical, and Sinister Representation: Reconceptualizing and Recasting Women’s Representation / Alexandra Dobrowolsky

11 The Royal Commission and Unions: Leadership, Equality, Women’s Organizing, and Collective Agency / Linda Briskin

Part 5: Reforming Institutions

12 Equality Instituted? Gender Equity, Women’s Rights, and Human Rights Commissions / Nicole S. Bernhardt

13 Federalism for the Twenty-First Century: Feminism and Multilevel Governance in Canada / Tammy Findlay


Find what you’re looking for...
Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters

Free shipping on online orders over $40

Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.