“You have to fight the big economic structures”: Maude Barlow on 50 years of activism and how civil society can advance women’s economic resilience

“The point of feminism [is] not to get half of what was, but to profoundly change the dynamics of the economy of our culture and our democracy.”

Why It Matters

The pandemic exposed deep inequity in Canada and around the world. Civil society must challenge the government power structures and fundamental economic institutions that create barriers to women’s economic independence for everyone to recover from the pandemic.

This journalism is made possible by the Future of Good editorial fellowship on women’s economic resilience, supported by Scotiabank. See our editorial ethics and standards here.

Maude Barlow’s new memoir, Still Hopeful: Lessons from a Lifetime of Activism, weaves hope into the fabric of the pandemic’s economic crises. 

As an activist who has advocated for women’s rights and economic empowerment since the 1970s, Barlow shares how women’s economic independence has evolved over the decades, the role civil society plays in their victories, and how to work with or against the government to achieve those ends. 

In 1975, Barlow co-founded Women Associates Consulting to advance Canadian women in society – the first organization of its kind for Canada. She went on to b

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