British Journal of Canadian Studies

Women, Gender, and Canadian Foreign Policy, 1909–2009

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2010), 23, (2), 159–178.

Abstract

A neglected part of the history of Canadian foreign policy is the role and contribution of women. Women have been engaged in Canadian foreign policy since the early part of the twentieth century, though they were not formally admitted to the Department of External Affairs until 1947. Women represented Canada at the League of Nations and later at the United Nations, and continue to be engaged through national and international organisations in campaigning on issues that are important for women but are not yet included on the official agenda. My purpose in this article is to bring the women of the Department of External Affairs and the parallel stream of women in non-governmental organisations out of the shadows; and to suggest that Canadian foreign policy as traditionally framed may be changing as a result of the body of gender studies in international relations that has developed since the late 1980s.

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Hughes, Vivien