Women's rights: from yesterday to today

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March 8 is International Women's Day. It is an opportunity to take stock of past struggles, but above all to prepare for the future and the opportunities that await future generations of women.

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March 8 is International Women's Rights Day. Celebrated in many countries around the world, March 8 is defined by the United Nations as "a day when women are recognized for their achievements, regardless of divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political." It is an opportunity to take stock of past struggles and achievements, and above all, to prepare for the future and the opportunities that await future generations of women. "

The date was finally made official by the United Nations in 1977. However, it is also considered to date back even further, since in "1910, in Copenhagen, during the second conference of theSocialist Women's International, the idea of an “International Women's Day” is adopted, on a proposal from Clara ZetkinRepresentative of the Socialist Party of Germany, without a date being given." (Source: Wikipedia)

Inequalities between men and women have always existed and, despite the advances of some groups, others manage to keep the imbalance alive. Feminist movements have emerged in recent decades to ensure that gender justice is established.

For example, the suffragists fought for the right to vote for women at the beginning of the 20th century, acquired in 1918 at the federal level and in 1940 in Quebec. Closer to home, in 2017, the movement #metoo made waves around the world by denouncing sexual harassment of women (especially, but not only).

In recent years, there have been several marches to demand more action on sexual assault and harassment, and to demand justice for missing and murdered Aboriginal women. (See our guide #JusticeForJoyce.)

"No matter the conditions and circumstances, it's important to be here to fight for women's rights and to empower all women and give visibility to all the issues we are talking about today, said 19-year-old Caroline Alince. »

Source: La Presse, January 19, 2019

But beyond defending women's rights, what does it mean to be a woman today? Is it lived in the same way as before?

We start by activating the knowledge with this short Minute UpdateThis is a good way to start the reflection by explaining to the students what femininity is:

For further

If they want to test their knowledge of International Women's Rights Day, your students can make this quiz. They will find all the answers to the questions in This article.

Also, this video produced by Update allows us to understand the reason for the need to hold such a day, even today.



Disciplines and levels targeted

  • History and Citizenship Education (Cycle 2)
  • Questioning social realities from a historical perspective
  • The feminist movement

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Developing and mobilizing technological skills
  • Producing content via digital technology
  • Developing and mobilizing information literacy
  • Communicating via digital technology
  • Developing critical thinking with regard to the use of digital technology

Suggested digital tools

  • iMovie (trailer mode)
  • Clips
  • Padlet, Genially, Pages or other platform to create a timeline
  • Word or Google Docs to collaborate

Educational intention of the guide

The following activities will allow students to question the social reality of feminist movements and women's rights over time.

Objectives of the activities

  • Define feminism by focusing on its actors and its demands.
  • Create a timeline that retraces the key events of the feminist cause in Quebec and Canada.
  • Take a critical look at the differences between women in the 1960s and today.

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A guide by Maxime Laflamme, Laurie Couture, Véronique Lavergne

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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