Minister Designates Creation of Quebec's Conseil du statut de la femme as Historic Event
In a momentous announcement, Mathieu Lacombe, the Minister of Culture and Communications, Minister responsible for Youth, and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and the Outaouais region, revealed the designation of the creation of the Conseil du statut de la femme (Council on the Status of Women) as a historic event under the Cultural Heritage Act. This recognition highlights the pivotal role played by the Council in shaping the history of Quebec and its ongoing contribution to social progress and women's rights.
The Conseil du statut de la femme was established on July 6, 1973, following a proposal by the Fédération des femmes du Québec to the government. The organization came into existence when bill number 63, presented by Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, was approved by the National Assembly. Its primary purpose is to act as an intermediary between the government, feminist associations, and the general population. The Council advocates for women's demands, educates society on women's issues, and actively participates in public debates. Over the years, it has been instrumental in championing the principle of gender equality and has influenced the implementation of various social measures benefiting women.
Minister Lacombe emphasized the significance of this designation, stating, "Today, I confirm, by virtue of the powers conferred on me by the Cultural Heritage Act, the designation of the creation of the Conseil du statut de la femme, a major historical milestone in Quebec. This designation recognizes the Council's exceptional contribution to the protection of women's rights and formalizes its brand as Quebec cultural heritage."
The Council's impact on Quebec society has been profound. Martine Biron, the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Status of Women, expressed her gratitude for the Council's role in shaping an egalitarian society, saying, "If Quebec is recognized today as one of the most egalitarian societies in the world, it is partly thanks to the Council on the Status of Women, born of pressure from feminist groups 50 years ago. By creating the Council, the Quebec government recognized the importance of women's voices, commitment, and experience. Quebecers owe a great deal to the Council, and today, it is its historic contribution that we recognize."
The Council has been a powerful catalyst for change and has served as a laboratory of ideas, influencing public policies and evolving mindsets in Quebec over the past five decades. Its commitment to promoting women's equality and rights is reflected in the publication of the Women's Gazette in 1979. This magazine has garnered public acclaim for its wide range of subjects and high-quality content, earning numerous awards and accolades.
Louise Cordeau, President of the Council on the Status of Women, expressed the organization's pride in this historic recognition: "Fifty years after its creation, the Council for the Status of Women is once again making history. The Council is proud today to enrich Quebec's cultural heritage with a lasting voice in favor of equality between women and men, and to inscribe in the collective memory its commitment to a fair and inclusive society. An invaluable opportunity to reaffirm our attachment to a Quebec proud of its values, to a Quebec that has equality at heart."
The designation of the creation of the Conseil du statut de la femme as a historic event underscores its immense importance in the advancement of women's rights and the shaping of Quebec's social fabric. The Council's enduring impact continues to foster progress and serve as an advocate for gender equality in the province.
Photo caption: Creation of the Council for the Status of Women, First meeting of the members' assembly on December 11, 1973.
Photo credit: Culture and Communications, Quebec Government.