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TORONTO, April 1, 1998 -- One of Canada's best-known feminists and political commentators, Judy Rebick, will ask " Is there a Future for Feminism?" on Monday, April 6 at the Inaugural Lecture of York University's School of Women's Studies. Her answer: a resounding yes, but the movement should work to revolutionize the role of men and women in the home, as well as outside it.

Changing the division of labour in the home is one of two new challenges Rebick believes the women's movement should be taking up. She thinks the women's movement has been largely unsuccessful in this area in the past, and feminists must turn now to urge men to take more responsibility in the home and for their children.

The second challenge Rebick sees for feminists today is to bring "the wisdom and anti-elitism of feminism to the global struggle for social change in general." Rebick believes that the many groups of socially active women around the world are in an ideal position to make links with one another and lead the fight against global poverty and the growing polarization between rich and poor.

Rebick, a former President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (1990 to 1993), has remained an active voice in the women's movement. She is co-host of Face Off on CBC Newsworld, and is a regular panellist on Sunday Report on CBC TV and Peter Gzowski's Forum on CBC Radio One. Rebick also writes a media column for Canadian Forum, a monthly magazine on politics and the arts.

"This lecture brings one of Canada's pre-eminent feminists to one of North America's leading centres of feminist research and teaching, York University's School of Women's Studies," said Susan Ehrlich, Chair of the School of Women's Studies. "We thought our Inaugural Lecture would be a perfect opportunity to invite Ms Rebick to share her thoughts about the future of feminism with the York community. While the School concentrates on scholarly research, it also seeks to generate discussion between feminist scholars and activists."

York's School of Women's Studies, created this year, is a pan-University structure that unites the various teaching, research and other academic resources for which York has always been famous, but which up to now had been operating under separate departments within the university. The new School of Women's Studies now includes:

  • more than 200 faculty teaching 100 courses in a variety of interdisciplinary women's studies programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate level;
  • a re-designed undergraduate program with a core curriculum that addresses such issues as gender, race, ethnicity, disability, and sexual identity;
  • a free-standing PhD program in women's studies -- the only one in Canada -- which already awarded Canada's first women's studies PhD last fall to Katherine Side. Side's thesis focused on how women's friendships with one another can be an important source of social support;
  • Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme, Canada's bilingual feminist quarterly;
  • the Centre for Feminist Research, bringing together the largest concentration of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students and researchers in North America;
  • the Nellie Langford Rowell Library, Canada's most comprehensive women's studies library;
  • 'Bridging' courses, enabling mature students -- the majority of whom are women -- to upgrade their academic skills to university level, with the aim of pursuing further study.

    Rebick's Inaugural Lecture is free and open to the public, and will be held on Monday April 6 at 7 pm in the Moot Court Room, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, 4700 Keele Street.


    For more information, please contact:

    Sine MacKinnon
    Senior Advisor for Media Relations
    (416) 736-2100, ext. 22087
    email: sinem@yorku.ca

    Alison Masemann
    Media Relations Officer
    (416) 736-2100, ext. 22086
    email: masemann@yorku.ca


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