Thursday 8 March 2018

Happy International Women's Day!

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

What better opportunity to recognize the work of the Catholic Women's League in Canada, and all that they do to bring women together and to enhance the role of women in the church.

The 41st annual convention of the Catholic Women's League.  Photograph by Sexton, 1961.

ARCAT Catholic Women's League Accession 2013-006, Box 2.

The Catholic Women's League was founded in 1906 in England and Wales. The first Catholic Women's League in Canada was established in Edmonton in 1912, with the objective to provide protection and support to women and girls, particularly those immigrants seeking work. Other women's groups were then organized across Canada modeled on the League in England.

On June 17, 1920, a meeting of all C.W.L.'s and representatives from other women's groups was held in Montreal, and the Catholic Women's League of Canada was formally established.  There are now over 1300 parish based C.W.L. councils in Canada that continue to come together every year in a national convention. The League's many accomplishments show us the strength in a united group of women.

One of C.W.L.'s many social welfare initiatives has been to help immigrants and refugees in Canada.

  OC26 T17
 Other Collections, Catholic Women's League - Toronto Diocesan Council, Special Campaigns & Projects

 In 1958 the C.W.L. Toronto Archdiocesan Council offered its members a leadership training course through St. Michael's College to help remedy a shortage of trained women leaders in the city. Just one example of how the C.W.L. created opportunities of empowerment for its members.

"Every woman owes it to herself and her organization to TRY" 

  OC26 T17
 Other Collections, Catholic Women's League - Toronto Diocesan Council, Special Campaigns & Projects

The C.W.L. continues to enrich parish communities, support spiritual growth, promote Catholic values, and advocate for social justice.

Today and everyday, let's show our thanks to all the women who contribute to the Church, both in our communities and around the world.

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