logo headerx1
cha mono

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Happy International Women’s Day 2023

Happy International Women’s Day 2023

Womens Day

Today marks International Women’s Day, an annual event that was first established in 1975 to celebrate women’s contributions and to highlight women’s gendered experiences. To mark this event, we wanted to recognize the work that many women initiated and supported to augment the profile of women in all aspects of the discipline of history. Historians of women in Canada have produced a wide range of ground-breaking work in the form of masters and doctoral theses. Those that were written at Canadian universities may be found through the Library and Archives portal to Theses in Canada (established in 1965).[i] As past studies have demonstrated, female historians working in Canada faced a culture of exclusion and hostility until relatively recently.[ii] The profession continues to work towards moving beyond including women, with the focus now expanded to decolonize history, to be a place for BIPOC scholars, and to recognize the contributions of Queer scholars.

A lot of this foundational work was supported by the Canadian Committee on Women’s History (founded in 1975), which was renamed the Canadian Committee on Women’s and Gender History in 2019. As an affiliated committee of the Canadian Historical Association for almost 50 years, this committee has provided a place for scholars to meet each year in person, and to share ideas and resources virtually. Thank you to those who pushed boundaries, forced difficult conversations, and stood their ground to make it possible for others to research, write, and participate across the land and who have generously shared their experiences!

Educators will find a number of useful teaching resources via the CCWGH website. There are curated lists of films, bibliographic sources, and syllabi that complement the work of the CHA Teaching and Learning Committee blog.[iii]

As indicated on the CCWGH website:

The Canadian Committee on Women’s and Gender History – Comité canadien de l’histoire des femmes et du genre (CCWGH-CCHFG) is the largest committee affiliated with the Canadian Historical Association. Founded in 1975, our goal is to promote teaching and research in the field of women’s and gender history.

Anyone who is actively researching, teaching or studying women’s or gender history in Canada or elsewhere, or who would simply like to be kept informed about current developments in the field, is welcome to be a member of the Canadian Committee on Women’s and Gender History.

The Canadian Committee on Women’s History and Gender History (CCWGH), affiliated with the Canadian Historical Association (CHA), has amongst its goals: promoting teaching and research in the field of women’s and gender history; disseminating information about sources, current research and publications; encouraging archival preservation of significant source materials; linking Canadian researchers and teachers together and with similar groups in other countries; and monitoring the status of women in the historical profession.


Through the CCWGH website, a variety of resources associated with women’s and gender history in Canada may be found. These include the following:

The CCWGH also has a Facebook page which has, at times, been the location of animated Facebook discussions and information postings.

Should you wish to become a member of the CCWGH, you may access the relevant sites here:

As a result of the work of women historians, the historical profession has changed in fundamental ways. Some of this change was explored during the 100th anniversary of the CHA:

The CHA’s Rethinking History in Canada Roundtable Series

To mark the CHA’s centenary, we have organized an ambitious 3-part programme that will offer a space of sustained reflection on our discipline’s past, present, and future. A committee, headed by Dr. Allyson Stevenson, has planned a round-table series for the Winter Term to kick off our “Rethinking History in Canada” 100th Anniversary programming.  The round-table series will consist of three webinars focusing on the themes of Women, Gender & Sexuality, Indigenous Experiences/Decolonization, and BIPOC Experiences.  In this series, presenters have been invited to speak about their experiences in the profession, association, undertaking their research or other topics of their choosing in relation to these themes. We have envisioned this as an opportunity for honest, critical conversations. This is part of the CHA’s wider effort to step-back, to consider issues of structures of power and exclusion within the profession.

The participants in the first webinar in the series were:

Stephen High, CHA President
Allyson Stevenson, Roundtable Series’ Organizer
Chair : Adele Perry Participants : Kim Anderson, Veronica Strong-Boag, Linda Kealey, Valerie Korinek, Steven Maynard, Joan Sangster, Rebecka Sheffield, Taylor Starr. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLiLZe6zu5o

The participants in the second webinar in the series were:

Chair: Daniel Sims
Participants: Cody Groat, Brenda MacDougall, Deb Lee, Crystal Fraser, Lianne Leddy, Paul Gareau, Molly Swain.

The participants in the third webinar in the series were:

Chair: Claudine Bonner
Participants: Afua Cooper,Daniel Sims, Twisha Singh, Cheryl Thompson, Barrington Walker, Harvey Amani Whitfield.

The following is a list of women who served as Presidents of the Canadian Historical Association:

1962-1962: Hilda Neatby

1965-1966: Margaret A. Ormsby

1976-1977: Margaret A. Prang

1984-1985: Susan Mann

1991-1992: Gail Cuthbert Brandt

1993-1994: Veronica Strong-Boag

1995-1996: Nadia Fahmy-Eid

1997-1998: Judith Fingard

2001-2003: Mary Vipond

2005-2007: Margaret Conrad

2009-2011: Mary Lynn Stewart

2013-2015: Dominque Marshall

2015-2017: Joan Sangster

2017-2019: Adel Perry

2019-2021: Penny Bryden

The following individuals have led the CCWGH (CCWH) since its foundation in 1962:

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1975-76: Veronica Strong-Boag (East); Ann Leger Anderson (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1976-77: Marie Lavigne (East); Ann Leger Anderson (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1977-78: Marie Lavigne (East); Joy Parr (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1978-79: Kathleen McCrone (East); Joy Parr (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1979-80: Kathleen McCrone (East); Jean Dryden (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1980-81: Andrée Levesque (East); Jean Dryden (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1981-82: Andrée Levesque (East); Mary Lynn Stewart (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices1982-83: Denise Angers (East); Mary Lynn Stewart (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1983-84: Denise Angers (East); Rebecca Coulter (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1984-85: Ann MacLennan (East); Rebecca Coulter (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1985-86: Heather Lysons-Balcon (West)

Coordinators/Coordinatrices 1986-87: Bettina Bradbury (East); Heather Lysons-Balcon (West)

Chair/Présidente 1987-88: Bettina Bradbury; Vice-Chair

Chair/Présidente 1988-89: Georgina Taylor; Vice-Chair

Chair/Présidente 1989-90: Alison Prentice; Vice-Chair

Chair/Présidente 1990-91: Linda Kealey

Chair/Présidente 1992-93: Ruby Heap

Chair/Présidente 1993-94: Patricia Prestwich

Chair/Présidente 1994-95: Ann Leger Anderson

Chair/Présidente 1995-96: Denise Angers

Chair/Présidente 1996-97: Denyse Baillargeon

Chair/Présidente 1997-98: Cynthia Comacchio

Chair/Présidente 1998-99: Nicole Neatby

Chair/Présidente 1999-00: Lucille Marr

Chair/Présidente 2000-01: Annalee (Golz) Lepp

Chair/Présidente 2001-02: Dianne Dodd

Chair/Présidente 2002-03: Sharon Myers

Chair/Présidente 2003-04: Myra Rutherdale

Chair/Présidente 2004-05: Françoise Noël

Chair/Présidente 2005-06: Tamara Myers

Chair/Présidente 2006-07: Adele Perry

Chair/Présidente 2007-08: Katrina Srigley

Chair/Présidente 2008-09: Marlene Epp

Chair/Présidente 2009-10: Willeen Keough

Chair/Présidente 2010-11: Nancy Forestell

Chair/Présidente 2011-12: Catherine Carstairs

Chair/Présidente 2012-13: Nancy Janovicek

Chair/Présidente 2013-14: Magda Fahrni

Chair/Présidente 2014-15: Karen Balcom

Chair/Présidente 2015-16: Karen Balcom

Chair/Présidente 2016-17: Caroline Durand/Karen Balcom

Chair/Présidente 2017-18: Carmen Nielson

Co-Chairs/Co-Présidentes 2018-19: Lara Campbell and Wileen Keough

Chair/Présidente 2019-2021: Heather Stanley

Chair/Présidente 2021-2023: Kristine Alexander

[i] https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/services/services-libraries/theses/Pages/search-theses-canada.aspx.
[ii] See Donald Wright, Chapter 5 “The importance of being sexist: the masculinization of history.” in The Professionalization of History in English Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005).
[iii] For example, see the series of blogs for Women’s History Month, 2021 and 2022 via the CHA website.