International Women's Day 2020 Posters

International Women's Day 2020 Posters

The goal of this project was to highlight significant achievements in women’s rights in Canada over the past 100 years. Researchers created a series of posters to be displayed at the 2020 International Women’s Day Event being held in Guelph by the Canadian Federation of University Women, Zonta, and Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis. Each poster highlights a historical achievement in women’s rights by providing a brief overview of the milestone, outlining the nature of the fight, noting the impact on Canadians, and describing what the achievement looks like today. Beyond the 2020 International Women’s Day event, partners plan to display the posters at exhibits at the Guelph Civic Museum and the Guelph Public Library.

See previews of all 10 posters below; the full “International Women’s Day 2020 Posters” project is available in the Atrium

Poster 1- CN Rail V. Canada (1987)

The CN Rail V. Canada (1987) poster highlights a significant achievement in women’s employment rights. It features a case in which the Canadian National Railway (CN Rail) was found to have discriminatory recruitment, hiring, and promotion policies that prevented women from working in blue-collar jobs. As a result, the CN Rail was ordered by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to develop an employment equity program. This poster emphasizes that this case was influential in preventing the systemic discrimination of women and other traditionally disadvantaged groups in the workforce. 

Poster 2-Robichaud V. Canada (1987) 

The Robichaud V. Canada (1987) poster showcases a notable achievement in reducing gender-based discrimination in the workplace. It focuses on a Supreme Court of Canada case on sexual harassment, which recognized that employers are liable for the discrimination of their employees throughout their employment. This poster illustrates how this case was a critical first step in prohibiting sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination in the workplace and providing support to the victims of discrimination. 

Poster 3- Bill C-127

The Bill C-127 poster features a Bill passed by the House of Commons in 1983 that was important in protecting victims of sexual assault. Bill C-127 abolished the offence of rape and replaced it with three categories of sexual assault. The poster discusses how this legislation made it easier for police to lay charges in incidents of sexual assault, made it easier for victims to report the offence, and reduced the burden on the victim when testifying in court. 

 Poster 4- Criminal Code Addresses Human Trafficking 

The Criminal Code Addresses Human Trafficking poster highlights an important amendment to the Criminal Code that made human trafficking an indictable offence. This Criminal Code amendment is a significant policy achievement because it holds perpetrators accountable for their actions and gives law enforcement and prosecutors more tools to combat human trafficking. The poster explains how this legislation can help prevent human trafficking from occurring and protects victims of human trafficking, who are disproportionately women. 

Poster 5- Maternity Benefits in Canada 

The Maternity Benefits in Canada poster features a notable accomplishment in the advancement of women’s rights and participation in the workforce. In 1966, British Columbia included maternity leave in Canada’s Unemployment Insurance which has contributed to women’s participation in the workforce. The poster explains how the introduction of maternity leave and benefits promotes gender equality and was a huge step forward in supporting women’s autonomy and agency. 

Poster 6- Canada Child Benefit Program

The Canada Child Benefit Program poster showcases a significant achievement for families, particularly single female-headed households. The Canada Child Benefit Program focuses on targeting households that will benefit most from the program and strives to provide children with the resources they need to be healthy and successful. The poster highlights that increasing parental benefits could help break poverty cycles in Canada. 

Poster 7- Women's Right to Vote in Canada

The Women’s Right to Vote in Canada poster describes the significant achievement of women gaining the right to vote in Canada in the 20th century. The poster emphasizes how this achievement paved the way for women’s participation in politics and granted women more agency in determining matters important to them and the wellbeing of society and all Canadians. 

Poster 8- The Persons Case 

The Persons Case poster features the influential Supreme Court ruling that allowed women to be appointed to the Senate. This decision officially recognized women as “persons” which meant that they could no longer be denied rights based on narrow understanding and constructions of the law. The poster explains how this ruling allowed for greater awareness and dedication to issues of women’s rights and wellbeing through female representation in the Senate. 

Poster 9- Contraception Legalized 

The Contraception Legalized poster highlights the efforts of organizations that fought for the decriminalization of contraceptives in Canada. In 1963, the International Planned Parenthood Federation was formed and contraceptives were now viewed as being part of comprehensive health care. The poster emphasizes how this significant achievement provided women with control over family planning, sexual health, and bodily autonomy. 

Poster 10- Abortion Legalized 

The Abortion Legalized poster discusses the work of organizations that advocated for the right to abortion. In 1988, in a famous Supreme Court of Canada case, abortion was decriminalized. It was determined that abortion laws conflict with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The poster describes how the decriminalization of abortion has provided women with control over family planning, bodily autonomy, and reproductive rights. 

Poster 11- Female Employees Equal Pay Act

The Female Employees Equal Pay Act poster showcases the efforts of organizations that worked to achieve equal pay between men and women. In 1951, Canada adopted an act that addressed the importance of equal pay and in 1956, legislation was enacted. The poster highlights how this act made wage discrimination based on sex against the law and provided some women in government-funded positions with settlements from their employees. 

Poster 12- Pay Equity Act

The Pay Equity Act poster highlights the work of the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition which advocated for pay equity, alongside provincial political leaders. To address the limitations of previous legislation, activists focus shifted from “equal pay for the same work” to “equal pay for work of equal value”. The poster explains that pay equity legislation is significant because it provided an avenue for identifying pay gaps between men and women caused by systemic discrimination and mandates employers to take action to close that gap.  

Poster 13- Marriage and Divorce Act

The Marriage and Divorce Act poster features the change in the law that allowed people to obtain a divorce more easily. Federal Parliament enacted the Marriage and Divorce Act in 1925 which allowed women to petition for a divorce in the same way that a man could. The poster emphasizes that this was a significant step in providing women with more agency to end a marriage.  

Poster 14- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Section 15)

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Section 15) poster highlights the creation of section 15 of the Charter, which guarantees equality for all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or ability. This provision of the charter provides legal standing for fighting discrimination in Canada. The poster describes how section 15 is significant to all marginalized people because it promotes a society in which all are secure in the knowledge that they are equally deserving of concern, respect and consideration.  

Courtney Primeau, Chloe Zivot, Brianna Wilson, Varsha Jayasankar
Project Partner(s): 
Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis
Canadian Federation of University Women
Zonta Guelph