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Canadian Women: A History, 3rd Edition

By Magda Fahrni, Naomi Black, Gail Cuthbert Brandt, Paula Bourne
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Soft Cover
672 pages
ISBN-10: 0176500960
ISBN-13: 9780176500962
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 3rd

The substantially revised and updated third edition of Canadian Women: A History continues to be the only comprehensive survey of the contributions, struggles and achievements of Canadian women. Drawing on the latest historical research, as well as government documents and other archival material, the authors provide new insights into the diverse experiences of women in Canada from the sixteenth century to the present. The text explores the themes of migration, marriage, family life, work, education, politics, and culture in the lives of Canadian women by means of an accessible narrative enhanced by graphics and photos.


  • *NEW* In addition to deepening and extending the analysis, the last two sections of the book have been revised. Part Three now covers the period from 1919 to 1960, and Part Four covers 1960 up to 2010.
  • *NEW* Enhanced discussion and incorporation of historiographical and contemporary issues, such as: the public vs. the private sphere, the growth of common-law relationships, new reproductive technologies, consequences of bill C-31, the situation of Muslim women, and "young feminists" (the so-called 3rd wave)
  • *NEW* Appendix Tables and Figures have been updated to include information from the 2006 census
  • The accompanying web site contains primary documents that have been carefully chosen to complement each chapter. Students can practice reading and interpreting primary documents, while professors are provided with easily accessible materials for discussion groups and assignments
  • A large number of tables, graphs, and charts enable students to visually grasp the changes which have occurred in women's lives over the course of more than four centuries
  • The meticulously footnoted sources provide an excellent starting point for students to develop bibliographies appropriate for college and university essay assignments
  • The chronological approach facilitates the integration of separate chapters into any survey course on Canadian history
  • The selection of primary documents found on the companion web sites provide instructors and students an opportunity to delve into important issues relating to the presentation and interpretation of women's history

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part One: The Founding Mothers: Beginnings to the Mid-Nineteenth Century
  • Chapter 1: The First Women
  • Chapter 2: Women in New France
  • Chapter 3: `Plenty of Work?: Women?s Waged and Unwaged Labour in British North America
  • Chapter 4: Women and the Public Order
  • Part Two: The Mid-Nineteenth Century to the End of the Great War
  • Chapter 5: Industrial Capitalism and Women?s Work
  • Chapter 6: Woman?s Sphere
  • Chapter 7: The ?Woman Movement?
  • Chapter 8: The Dawn of the Century of Feminism
  • Part Three: Land of New Opportunities: From 1918 to 1960
  • Chapter 9: Women in the Corporate Economy
  • Chapter 10: Testing the Boundaries
  • Chapter 11: Proving Themselves in Public Life
  • Part Four: 1960 to the Present
  • Chapter 12: New Trends and Old Issues in Women?s Work
  • Chapter 13: Changing Lives in a Changing Society
  • Chapter 14: Reorganizing for Change
  • Chapter 15: The Personal Becomes Political
  • Appendix: Tables and Figures
  • Aboriginal Names and the Their European Equivalents
  • List of Acronyms
  • Index

Author Information

Gail Cuthbert Brandt

Gail Cuthbert Brandt is Professor of History at Renison University College, University of Waterloo where she also served as Principal for ten years. A former President of the Canadian Historical Association, she has researched and published in the areas of the history of Canadian women's organizations and working-class women in Quebec. She is a co-author of the previous two editions of "Canadian Women: A History" , and also co-authored "Feminist Politics on the Farm: Rural Catholic Women in Southern Quebec and Southwestern France" with Naomi Black.

Naomi Black

Naomi Black is Professor Emerita of Political Science and Women's Studies at York University, where she taught for 30 years; she is also Adjunct Professor of Women's Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, where she now lives. Her publications include "Social Feminism," "Virginia Woolf as Feminist," "Feminist Politics on the Farm: Rural Catholic Women in Southern Quebec and Southwestern France"(co-authored with Gail Cuthbert Brandt), and all the editions of "Canadian Women: A History" (co-authored). Her research continues to be on women's activism and feminist theory.

Paula Bourne

Paula Bourne is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Women's Studies in Education where she also served as Head for eight years. Her research and publications have focussed on Canadian women's history, contemporary issues facing Canadian women and gender issues and education. Among her publications are the co-authored "Canadian Women's Issues: Strong Voices" and the co-edited "Feminism and Education: A Canadian Perspective" and "Women Teaching Women Learning: Historical Perspectives."

Magda Fahrni

Magda Fahrni is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where she teaches women's history, family history, and the history of twentieth-century Québec and Canada. She is the author of the prize-winning book Household Politics: Montreal Families and Postwar Reconstruction (University of Toronto Press, 2005) and the co-editor of Creating Postwar Canada: Community, Diversity, and Dissent, 1945-1975 (University of British Columbia Press, 2008). She currently co-edits the McGill-Queen's University Press series "Studies on the History of Quebec".