Doris Anderson: Contribution as Canadian Journalist

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      Doris McCubbin Anderson (1921-2007) A journalist, novelist and activist, born in Medicine Hat and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She attended the Calgary Normal School and the University of Alberta, and after two years teaching in country schools moved to Toronto where she worked in advertising and journalism, becoming editor of Chatelaine magazine (1957—77). As the daughter of a working mother in the dirty thirties', and a working mother to three sons herself, she experienced many of the challenges and problems facing women; she changed Chatelaine from a typical 'women's magazine' focused on health, beauty, fashion and cooking into one combining those subjects with serious feminist discussion of birth control, battered babies, divorce laws, equal pay for work of equal value, child care, lesbianism, women's prisons, sexual harassment, and patriarchy in religion, schools and unions.

      Anderson wrote many influential editorials, one of which was instrumental in pressing the government of Canada to establish the Royal Commission on the Status of Women (1967—70). She was appointed president of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women (1979 — 81), a job that came to a precipitous end when she resigned because of a conflict over the inclusion of women and women's issues in the constitutional negotiations in 1982. From 1982—84, she was president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC). Among her many awards, Anderson has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She wrote three novels - Affairs of State (1988), Rough Layout (1981) and Two Women (1979) - which did not achieve great critical acclaim.

      The Unfinished Revolution: Status of Women in Twelve Countries (1991) was based on her travels and interviews. Her autobiography, Rebel Daughter, was published in 1996. For Anderson, women are more 'focused and practical' than men. Her autobiography ends with this question: "Isn't it time women stopped holding up half the sky and began making at least half the decisions right down here on earth?"

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