Women Challenging the Constitution: New Evidence


  • Naomi Black York University Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Louise Carbert Dalhousie University


Canadian women's movement, Canadian constitutional history, Charter of Rights and Freedoms



This article is more political than legal. Using the ap­proaches identified by feminist institutionalism, it fo­cuses on the interactions between the Canadian Advi­sory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) and the Canadian government during the constitutional cri­sis of 1980-1981. How did the gendered institutions of the federal government facilitate a narrative that, finally, was harmful to the women’s movement in Canada?



Cet article est plus politique que juridique. En utilisant les approches identifiées par les institutions féministes, il se penche sur les interactions entre le Conseil consul­tatif canadien sur la situation de la femme (CCCSF) et le gouvernement du Canada durant la crise constitution­nelle de 1980-1981. Comment les institutions marquées par la différenciation des sexes du gouvernement fédé­ral ont-elles facilité un récit qui était, en fin de compte, nuisible au mouvement féministe au Canada?


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Author Biographies

Naomi Black, York University Mount Saint Vincent University

Professor Emerita, York University

Political Science and Women's Studies


Adjunct Professor, Mount Saint Vincent University

Women's Studies

Louise Carbert, Dalhousie University

Associate Professor

Political Science, Gender & Women's Studies, Canadian Studies


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37.2 (1) - Canadian Women Challenge the Constitution: The Story Behind the Story