The National Action Committee on the Status of Women
(NAC) is a Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...
activist organization. NAC was founded in 1971 as a pressure group to lobby for the implementation of the 167 recommendations made in the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada's 1970 report on matters such as day care, birth control, maternity leave, family law, education and pensions. Initiated by the Committee for the Equality of Women in Canada which was founded in 1966 and successfully lobbied for the creation of the Royal Commission
In Commonwealth realms and other monarchies a Royal Commission is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue. They have been held in various countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia...
, NAC was founded as CEWC's successor on January 30, 1971 with the purpose of being for the exchange of information about the activities and plans for action of the women's participating groups" and to "spearhead a drive for the implementation of those recommendations of the Royal Commission Report on the Status of Women which are aimed at equality of opportunity for women..
A coalition of 22 groups when it originated under the name of the National Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women, NAC eventually grew into the largest national feminist organization with a total of 700 groups claiming affiliation. Its mandate grew beyond the implementation of the Royal Commission's recommendations to include issues such as poverty, racism, same-sex rights and violence against women.
NAC received much of its funding from the federal government until cuts by the Brian Mulroney
Martin Brian Mulroney, was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993 and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms, such as the Canada-U.S...
government in the wake of NAC's opposition to the Charlottetown Accord
The Charlottetown Accord was a package of proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canada, proposed by the Canadian federal and provincial governments in 1992. It was submitted to a public referendum on October 26 of that year, and was defeated.-Background:...
forced the organization to lay off its staff and cut its budget. The cuts continued during the Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....
government and, in 1998, the group largely ceased operations for a time after Status of Women Canada, a department of the federal government, ceased granting money for day-to-day operations. NAC soon accumulated debts in excess of $100,000 and was forced to close some of its regional offices . Although NAC's activities were greatly reduced through the 1990s into the 21st century. NAC has revived and renewed itself in recent years and is primarily funded largely through donations and membership fees.
NAC Chairpersons and Presidents
- Laura Sabia
Laura Sabia, OC was a Canadian social activist and feminist.Born Laura Villela in Montreal, Quebec, the daughter of Italian immigrants, she played an important part, as National Chair of the Committee for the Equality of Women, in the creation of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women called...
- Grace Hartman (1974-1975)
- Lorna Marsden
Lorna Marsden, CM, O.Ont is a Canadian sociologist, academic, and former politician. She is the former President and Vice-Chancellor of both Wilfrid Laurier University and York University, and a former senator.-Career:...
- Kay Macpherson (1977-1979)
- Lynn McDonald
Lynn McDonald, PhD is a university professor, anti-tobacco activist and former member of the Canadian House of Commons. She is a former president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and was the New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Broadview—Greenwood from 1982 until...
- Jean Wood (1981-1982)
- Doris Anderson
Doris Hilda Anderson, was a Canadian author, journalist and women's rights activist.She was born in Calgary, Alberta as Hilda Doris Buck. She attended Crescent Heights High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta in 1945...
- Chaviva Hosek
Chaviva Milada Hošek, OC is a Canadian academic, feminist and former politician.-Background:The child of Holocaust survivors, Hošek was born to a Hungarian Jewish family living in Bohemia and raised in Montreal...
- Louise Dulude (1986-1988)
- Lynn Kaye (1988-1990)
- Judy Rebick
Judy Rebick , arrived in Toronto at age 9, and is a Canadian journalist, political activist, and feminist.-Career:...
- Sunera Thobani (1993-1996)
- Joan Grant-Cummings (1996-1999)
- Terri Brown (2000-2002)
- Sungee John (2003-2005, interim)
- Dolly Williams (2006- )