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Introduction

Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, 1944-1945
Picture of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering 1944-45. There were three women in this graduating class, can you spot them all? To enlarge the image, first click on it and then again under the Files heading. 
Erindale College Convocation June 2, 1970
A group of women at their Erindale College (now called University of Toronto at Mississauga or UTM) convocation on June 2nd, 1970. In 1884, the University accepted the first women students. Since then, the proportion of women students and faculty has slowly increased.

Making Their Voices Heard

We begin in the 1950s, and women are frustrated – frustrated at being denied equity. 

Women in Canada were outraged about the ongoing gender discrimination they faced and the limited progress being made to fix it. They were fed up, banding together to speak out against gender inequality. These women recognized the barriers they faced in education and in their professional careers. This was the beginning of the second wave feminist movement. 

This movement was sweeping across university campuses.

Women at the University of Toronto from the late 1950s to the early 2000s came together to challenge the status quo, fighting for change on and off campus. 

The women interviewed for this exhibition were former and current students and faculty members at the University of Toronto from the 1950s to the present. 

We invite you to explore their voices now.

Click the play button to hear what life was like for some women at the University of Toronto. These are the stories of Vanda Vitali, Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Joan Simalchik, and Laurel MacDowell. 

Click the play button to hear more about what life was like for some women at the University of Toronto. These are the stories of Kay Armatage, Lorna Marsden, Linda Silver Dranoff, and Helen Breslauer.

Click the arrows or specific events to explore a brief timeline of gender equity in Ontario and at the University of Toronto.

To learn more about the struggle for different kinds of equity at the University of Toronto click "Pay Equity" in the bottom right or select a topic from the table of contents above. 

Introduction