Aller au contenu

An Emancipatory Vocation: Nursing in Quebec, 1912–1974


Established in 1967, the first Royal Commission on the Status of Women, also known as “the Bird Commission,” emerged following pressure from women’s groups calling for an inquiry into the status of women in Canada. The commission and its 1970 Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada was a major step for the Canadian women’s movement. On the fiftieth anniversary of its report’s release, however, an old refrain reemerged. When asked about the Commission’s report, some Canadian feminist historians resurrected the rather negative opinion about the nursing profession once held by their predecessors. In early December 2020, Quebecoise historian Camille Robert claimed on Francopress that the Bird report included “proposals against wage discrimination and access to more careers so that [women] would no longer be relegated to secretarial or nursing jobs.” Robert seems to believe that a rejection of these “ghetto-type” jobs for women, as they were labeled in the early 1980s by the group of Quebecoise feminist historians known as the Clio collective, is a necessary part of women’s liberation.[1] Robert maintains the idea that Canadian women needed to be saved from this fate, which consisted of having to choose between marriage or a nursing job, as if the latter were inevitably demeaning, degrading, and undignified. [...]


Klein, A. (2021). An Emancipatory Vocation: Nursing in Quebec, 1912–1974. Nursing Clio.

Axes associés

Profil lié