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Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)

Committed to the pursuit of knowledge, promotion of Education, encouragement of culture, improvement of women’s status and human rights, participation in public affairs, and advancement of international friendship, the CFUW has had a strong Saskatchewan presence. Open to university graduates, and formerly known as University Women’s Clubs, Saskatchewan groups emerged during World War I. In 1915 a club was organized in Regina, and in 1918 the Saskatoon University Women’s Club was founded; both predated establishment of the Canadian Federation (1919). Early topics of interest included women’s suffrage and education, but members also presented educational programs on numerous topics. Two additional clubs were founded in the early 1930s: Swift Current (1930) and Prince Albert (1931). Reflecting economic and environmental challenges of the Depression, University Women’s Clubs took particular interest in socio-economic issues: they raised money for Welfare Bureaus and established Milk Funds, but also sought to effect broader structural change. World War II brought renewed club involvement in typical patriotic activities such as sewing and knitting for the Red Cross, conserving food, and supporting international relief. The 1950s and 1960s saw extensive development. Existing groups grew larger, and new ones in Weyburn and Yorkton received charters (1954). Clubs were very effective at fundraising during this time, and used the extra money to increase existing scholarships and create new ones. Activities during this era included lobbying for, and establishing, Public Libraries. Club interests during the 1970s reflected changing times: the Saskatchewan groups, like the national organization, placed renewed emphasis upon women’s rights. In 1979 the youngest club in the province was organized in Estevan. As of 2004, there were approximately 300 members in seven clubs in Saskatchewan.

Lisa Dale-Burnett

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