Gander Status of Women Council
In 1983, a group of women in Gander became interested in starting a Status of Women Council. After discussions with Iris Kirby from the Secretary of State, they had their first meeting in May 1983, with Ann Bell (then President of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women) as a guest speaker. At that meeting, fourteen women volunteered to serve on their new Councilís Steering Committee. The first Co-Chairs were Pat Kennedy and Marie Matheson.
At first, the members of the newly formed Gander Status of Women Council (GSWC) focused on consciousness raising and increasing its membership. But they soon determined that they needed a Womenís Centre in their community. After receiving some funding, they opened a Womenís Centre on February 27, 1985. The very same year, the GSWC hosted the annual provincial conference of the Status of Women Councils.
The GSWC stayed very active in the community. They wrote a weekly column in the local paper held information sessions on topics such as breast cancer and non-traditional jobs for women. They also worked to make the legal aid system fairer for women and on getting a transition house for Gander. (Cara House opened In 1991.) Today, the GSWC lists its concerns as justice; violence against women; equity and parity; and youth.