Chaviva Hosek helped strengthen and bring credibility to the Women Studies program when she became their first program director. From 1984-1986, Hosek helped to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission as president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.
Pushed to Change
On December 9, 1970, the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada sent shockwaves across the country. The report’s recommendations prioritized women in positions of power and women’s autonomy. Implementing it was the next challenge.
The University had not done enough to meet the recommendations of the report. Some women faculty were not happy with the way the University treated them. It could be very difficult for women to gain employment, be promoted, achieve tenure, and be paid the same as their male counterparts. This forced many to leave academia.
The Royal Commission pushed the University to take action. The University began to look more closely at the gap that existed between men and women on campus. Response to the recommendations was slow and controversial. The University eventually created the Status of Women Office and women’s committees.
"Now we had a purpose, we weren’t just talking to each other about how awful things were, we were actually studying the laws, studying government to figure out who to talk to..."
Click the play button to hear Lorna Marsden talk about the importance of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women.
Prior to the Royal Commission, in December 1987, this article authored by Joan Foley appeared in the Bulletin. The article mentioned that only 28.3% of faculty appointments in the tenure stream were women.
To learn more about the struggle for different kinds of equity at the University of Toronto click "Access to Services" in the bottom right or select a topic from the table of contents above.