Beverley Smith in 2004 (source image CBC)

Cusp of a revolution

Calgary., Thursday, October 2, 2008, by : Beverley Smith
In this election all parties are looking at homecare, children's care and taxation of the household. That sounds dull but it affects nearly every citizen. It also may be the cusp of a revolution. What is happening is a redefinition of work.

In the 1900s women challenged laws said 'No idiot or woman shall vote'. Ultimately after many petitions and appeals, Canadian women in 1918 could vote.

Similarly women challenged laws that said women were not persons in law, could not sit in the Senate. After several legal appeals in October 1929 women were declared persons and got that right.

Whether women are as competent as men has been a long debate with big hurdles. Laws set up by men, economies set up to value men's work, have been blind to women's roles at home. . Women at home were looked on with pity and tokenism as an obvious lower class. . A small spousal deduction, a one day celebration of mothers, a small allowance for a family.

We now have another debate, as big as whether women are idiots, or persons. This is about whether women work, whether roles at home are worthwhile to society and the economy and if these roles are to be encouraged or discouraged.

In the 1960s we only dared define work as what men did and dared to let women do that. But our success there leaves one last hurdle.

This part of the revolution is to redefine work itself.

Income splitting, universal child benefits, caregiver rights, homecare funding are items in the revolution to redefine work.

It's a big task. And yet, in this election Canadians are up for it. We've taken on basic words before. It's how revolutions happen.


Beverley Smith

Beverley Smith is a long time social activist and teacher who for the past thirty years
has advocated nationally and internationally on behalf of women's rights


Return to Ensign or Saskatchewan News

This page is a story posted on Ensign a daily web site offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. This publication is the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004