Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 21, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
20 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID Monday, Dacombgr 21, 1970 Canadian women threaten social structure in 1970 headlines By JEAN SIIAUP Cl' Women's Editor Topped off by the report of the royal commission on the status" of women, 1970 has been a year when women as a phenomenon have been though few individual women have made headlines. After three years' wait for the report, it was criticized by many women as being out- dated, its recommendations already put in die shade by the current feminist crusade. Feminists have certainly rattled the bars in 1970, loudly and rudely. Some have scorned the report as middle class, Milquetoast and mean- ingless without accompanying sweeping political change. In fact, if everything it rec- ommends were to be done, Canada's social and economic structure would have to change markedly. The report generally has made little stir, and the peo- ple may be right who say it will be ignored. Laura Sabia of St. Cathar- ines, Ont., the woman who started the drive to have the commission appointed, said that if it is to have any effect at all, women will have to get behind it and push. She hopes to mobilize women's organiza- tions again to do just that. NEED DEEP CHANGES The recommendations for abortion on demand, divorce after a year's separation, a network of day care centres, temporary preferential treat- ment in government appoint- ments got immediate atten- tion. They are important, but the cumulative effect of some of the other recommendations could make or require the deepest changes. The report recommends true equality in education, be- ginning with a change in text- books so that women are not THE CLEANEST WASH IN TOWN THE Launderette 1263 3rd Avenue South invariably shown in domestic roles. It recommends family- life courses that would raise questions about traditional sex roles by discussing social and psychological attitudes as well as biology. It recommends the end of the "tacit assumption that a living wage for women is lower than for men." It urges the prohibition of occupational "sex-typing" and the opportunity for more women to take occupational training courses. If housewives were included in government pension plans on the basis of their contribu- tion to the economy, there would not be a dispropor- tionate number of elderly women living on starvation in- comes. WIVES ARE LIABLE On the flip side, the report recommends an end to dis- tinctions in pension and insur- ance plans. Husbands and children should have a claim on a wile's benefits under such plans. In some cases, wives should be liable for the support of their husbands or children, even to alimony pay- ments. When a woman marries, her passport should not be au- tomatically invalid because it is in her maiden name. The report recommends set- ting up of h u m a n -r i g h t s boards with temporary spe- cial committees on women's rights as a place to start. In 1970. the Dominion Bu- reau of Statistics counted 2.8 million women in the work force, one million more than in 1960. A few stirrings of change for them appeared during the year. In Ontario, the employment standards branch is credited with collecting to cor- rect wage under-paymcnts to women. Ontario also enacted a Women's Equal Opportunity Act to prohibit discrimination in job classifications, recruit- ment, hiring, training, promo- tion and dismissal. The act came into effect Dec. 1. The day after the status re- port came out, a news report said the federal government plans to introduce legislation for mandatory maternity leave and insurance benefits next year. The report had rec- ommended such legislation. NEW JOIiS OPENED The Canadian Labor Con- gress, at its 1970 convention, voted to make equal rights for women a collective bargain- ing issue. If unions did so, it would be a departure for many of them. A particular job category, recently opened for women, could 'have far-reaching re- sults for several churches. The General Commission on Church Union voted Nov. 30 in favor of ordaining women in a proposed new church that would combine the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada with the Christian Church (Disci- ples of The vote represented a con- cession on the part of the An- glicans that makes the union likelier. The other two churches have ordained women for years. The debate on abortion that has been going on for more than a year has involved church spokesmen, feminists and doctors. It began Aug. 26, 1969, when a Criminal Code amendment went into effect. It removed a doctor's crimi- nal liability when performing an abortion authorized by n hospital committee. Many people still oppose abortion totally, and opinion ranges from there through free" abortion on demand, as recommended in Hie commis- sion report. About 4.400 abortions were performed in Canada in H3 hospitals, according to a spe- cial DBS report that covered the year from August 1909 to 1970. The report says some hospitals did not reply to the DBS questions. The Canadian Medical Asso- ciation lias taken a prohibition against abortion out of its code. It is studying the whole question of family planning. The Canadian Psychiatric Association has favored re- moval of abortion from the Criminal Code. Many doctors say they con- sider there is a lack of clear legal interpretation of the sit- uation. Their abortion march was the most notable of the Women's Lib efforts of the year. The feminists favor abortion on demand, and their members in several communi- ties will offer advice on where A MINUTE MINUET Students from Costanzo's Day Care Centre performed a delightful minuet during the Christmas concert for residents of the Golden Acres Lodge. Only five years old and under they also sang Christmas carols and staged a nativity for their enthusiastic audi- ence. The centre is operated by Mrs. Costanzo. to get legal abortions. In May the House of Com- mons was adjourned for half an hour while the galleries were cleared of women who chanted "Free abortion on de- mand." They were part of a group of about 200 that arrived on Parliament Hill a few days before, at the end of an "abortion caravan" that trav- elled from several parts of the country. Meanwhile, women as housekeepers have had a good deal to think about. They have been making de- cisions that affect the environ- ment, as it is usually women who buy the soap or deter- gent, who decide whether to buy non-returnable bottles and cans, who decide how much throw-away plastic to use. I.A. TO F.O.E. BINGO Monday, Dec. 21st JACKPOT NOS. CHRISTMAS DRAW TURKEY BINGO "20 AlARM BINGO" Gold Card Pay Door Cards (Many other extras) Regular Cards 25c or 5 for 13th St. and 6th Ave. 'A' N. No children under 16 allowed Native Women advised to take welfare action A supervisor with the depart-, women's society at a general lack of training of native wel- sistance should receive a cheque, indicated the society may in- ment of Indian affairs advised .meeting in the Lethbridge members of the Southern Voice of Alberta Native Women Blackfoots and Bloods, ciety Saturday to demand three oUler southern examination of alleged welfare tribes. own wel. injustices themselves, rather than letting cases go unknown. Morinus Begieneman, district supervisor of social services for the Elood-Peigan district, was speaking to 20 Blocd and Black- foot members of the native ristmas Portable and under counter models on display at 90S 3rd Ave. S. Phone 327-4456 fare workers through tribal councils. Since councils are elected by tribal members, and the work- ers in turn hired by the coun- cils, he suggested the women have the right and responsi- bility to "put pressure1' on councils over welfare discon- tent. One Blood reserve resident countered his suggestion with the opinion that "if we go to the band council, to tell them our problems, it's like a foot- ball game. They keep passing the ball back and forth." The society peppered Mr. Begieneman with a number of questions and actual cases of what they considered to be in- justices. Items mentioned were the MERCHANDISE REDUG SPECTACULAR SAVINGS ON DOWNTOWN ONLY 319 5th St. S. fare workers, unequal social as- sistance for the sick and for couples looking after other peo- ple's children. One resident of Stanoff said her home, which has been con- demned, has been furnished with a telephone, but she has no money to buy food, let alone pay the phone bill. Mr. Begieneman, who coun- sels the seven native workers en the Blocd reserve and two on the Peigan reserve, indicat- ed he would talk the cases over with them. Among his other statements, most of them clearly indicated as his personal opinions were: No worker has the right to tell an Indian living off the re- serve to "go back to the re- serve" when the Indian is hav- ing difficulties; People can't. take pride in themselves until they have food in their stomachs, are well sheltered and their children are locked after; If an Indian drinks, it's no use cutting back on his social assistance. He may use the money for his children's food to keep drinking; Indian people should have the right to apprehend children on reserves who are not being well looked after. (Currently only the RCMP and provincial work- ers have this Anyone who is on public as- rather than a voucher, although some seem to prefer vouchers; Prospective native welf are workers should be sent away for training for two years (rather than a few months as is the case but when they are sent away for two years, they often won't return to the reserves. Rose Yellow Feet, the soci- ety's southern vice-president, vite tribal councils and native welfare workers to a future meeting. Trick for washing If you have a new garment that has a very vivid color and you are not sure it is stead- fast try soaking it in salty water before washing for the first time. Phone 327-771T 522 5th STREET S. PRE OFF ALL FURNITURE II ON THE FLOOR IAMPS TABLES CHESTERFIELDS _ ODD CHAIR! 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