Essay about Women Helping Women

Essay about Women Helping Women

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It is always gratifying to see women helping women; it is intensely so when the Consort of our Queen’s representative, the first lady of our land, gathers the helpful women of all nationalities, creeds and societies together, and by uniting them in one Council enables them to work for the furtherance and uplifting, not only for womanhood, but all of humanity; inspiring them all with a greater love of home, a greater love of country, a greater desire to be helpful to others springing from the inspiration of the Fatherhood of God and the Golden Rule which this Council takes as its motto.


On the 8th of November 1894 Maria Grant enthusiastically introduced Lady Ishbel Maria Marjoribanks Aberdeen and her new National Canadian Council of Women to a large public meeting celebrating her and her husband’s, the Governor General of Canada, visit Victoria, BC. On stage beside her were a number of government officials and religious supporters as well as a large crowd of men and women, many of whom represented the various societies, associations, and unions which had worked together to organize this moment. Both the Colonist and Standard featured the story on their front pages citing Grant’s call to ‘unite women of all nationalities, creeds and societies together’ as a perfect reflection of the Council of Women’s beliefs. However it is not this phrase that historians or even contemporaries focused on for their understanding of the Council. The rest of Grant’s speech and Lady Aberdeen’s response to it, are traditionally mined for phrases such as ‘womanhood’, ‘unity’, ‘women helping woman’, women helping society’, morality’, and the’ Golden Rule’ and despite the apparent openness to women of all kinds in their speeches, historians e...


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...Early Feminists, 1845-1945,” in Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women’s History, 5th ed., eds. Mona Gleason and Adele Perry (Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2006).
Fiamengo, 159.
Fiamengo, 147.
Carol Cooper, “Native Women of the Northern Pacific Coast: An Historical Perspective, 1830-1900,” Journal of Canadian Studies 27 no. 4 (Winter 1992): 44; Susan Neylan, The Heavens are Changing: Nineteenth-Century Protestant Missions and Tsimshian Christianity (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press), 2003. Also see Myra Rutherdale, “ ‘She Was a Ragged Little Thing’: Missionaries, Embodiment, and Refashioning Aboriginal Womanhood in Northern Canada,” Contact Zones: Aboriginal and Settler Women in Canada’s Colonial Past, eds. Katie Pickles and Myra Rutherdale (UBC Press: Vancouver, 2005).
Cooper, 45.
Neylan, 106.
Neylan, 265.

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