Title

Feminist activism, education and social change

Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Ed.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Cherian, Finney (Faculty of Education)

Keywords

Women's Studies.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Semi-structured individual interviews were used to document the experiences of five young women, who created the grassroots feminist activist group, the Miss G_Project. The Miss G_Project was created to advocate for equity in education. The integration of a women's and gender studies course in the Ontario secondary school curriculum is a primary goal of this organization. All participants self-identified as feminist, and this identity interacted with and was affected by their activism. As well, it was expressed that their friendships and sense of belonging to a feminist community helped to sustain the project. The group used a collective approach to organizing, which developed organically, through their friendships with each other. Online communication was a key element of their organizing. The study also revealed that a two-pronged approach was used, as the group strived for legal change, while also working at a grassroots level to strengthen the support in schools for the course. At the curricular level, they saw that the interdisciplinary curriculum and the locally developed course option were spaces where women's and gender studies was being developed and thus supported these efforts. Feminist identity, feminist organizing, curricular change and the notion of the third wave were primary themes, which were considered in this study. Further the struggles they have faced in their work with the Miss G_Project, as well as their notions about the potentials for curricular change were explored.