Personal & Political: Stories from the Women's Health Movement 1960–2010

Personal & Political: Stories from the Women's Health Movement 1960–2010


By Lorraine Greaves


How feminism transformed the healthcare system in Canada.

Personal and Political details the innovative, courageous, and creative activism of the "second wave" women's health movement in Canada between 1960 and 2010. This activism (re)claimed women's bodies, created women-centered spaces and services, and challenged a medically dominated health system.

Feminists challenged diagnoses, treatments, laws, policies, and research, as well as the care women were offered and the way they saw their bodies and themselves. Legions of women, and a few men, made changes ranging from abortion rights to preserving women's hospitals, to the legalization of midwifery to requiring gendered health research—change that still resonate in the 21st century.

A Feminist History Society Book

Add To Cart

About the Author

Lorraine Greaves is a feminist activist, researcher and writer on women’s health, violence against women and gender issues. She was the founding director of both the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health in British Columbia and the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children in Ontario. She is the author or editor of eleven books, on addiction, smoking, gender theory, health promotion, and research methods.

Among her awards for her activism and change making, are the Augusta Stowe Gullen Medal, the Laura Jamieson Prize, the Outstanding Ontario Achievement Award, the YWCA Women of Distinction, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Network for Women Against Tobacco. She received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa, for her contributions to changing the landscape of women’s health in Canada. Lorraine divides her time between Vancouver, British Columbia and Elora, Ontario.

Get the E-Book


“Greave’s intimate experience with, and in-depth understanding of, the political and institutional forces that faced Canada’s activists over the last half-century shines through in this collection. The fearless, persistent, and creative actions of the feminist leaders who contributed to this book, had a profound influence on the women’s movement and changed Canada’s entire health system. These women challenged established norms and demanded unprecedented approaches and inventive alternatives that altered the values, policies, and practices that shape the health of women and girls to this day.” — Marilyn Emery, President and Chief Executive Officer, Women’s College Hospital

“This is a very compelling and pan-Canadian gathering of stories and analyses about the past 50 years of the women’s health movement. It chronicles the determination, courage, and creativity of many different groups of women trying to make the world safer and more responsive to their varied needs. It is also an excellent lens through which to remember how far we have come and to understand how much farther there is to go.” — Chaviva Hosek, O.C. Ph.D. L.L.D.

“A must-read for all women, especially those working for change in the arena of women's health in Canada. It is a stark reminder of how much work, dedication, commitment, and plain old slugging it has taken to keep Canadian women's bodies free of unwanted interference. It is still far from clear sailing, and we are seeing south of the border just how easily the clock can be turned back. A big cheer for the courageous women and men who have fought so hard to protect our right to health on our own terms.” — Penny Ballem, M.D. FRCP FCAHS

Product Information

  • Release: October 16, 2018

  • $24.95 Paperback

  • 376 Pages

  • 6 x 9

  • Adult Nonfiction

  • ISBN: 9781772600797