Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Annually, on this day, we celebrate the social, economical, cultural, and political achievements of women from around the world. As part of the Diefenbunker’s 25th anniversary, we will be highlighting 25 artifacts from within our collections that showcase Canada’s Cold War history. In honour of International Women’s Day, we commence our 25 years of artifacts with our “I am a Woman for Peace” button.
“I am a Woman for Peace” is a metal pin-back button with a plastic shelled face. The pin is white with a solid blue circle in the centre. Curved around the white outer edge of the pin, written in blue, is the phrase “I am a Woman for Peace.” Overlaid on the blue circle in white is a stylized image of a woman’s face looking to the left and she has cascading hair that turns into a dove at the bottom.
Originally made for the Congress of Canadian Women (CCW) in the early Cold War between 1950 and 1960, “I am a Woman of Peace” serves as a symbol for this feminist organization that was formed in March of 1950. CCW was created by the merger of several organizations, including the Housewives and Consumers Association (HCA) — a group formed to alleviate the difficulties brought on by red-baiting, a political tactic of using accusatory language to discredit the validity of an opponent’s logically sound argument. The CCW’s first president, Rae Luckock, had previously sat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, serving from 1943 to 1945, and was one of the first women elected to do so. Initially focused on equal rights and affordability concerns, the CCW became more focused on fostering world peace following the outbreak of the Korean War.
We’re grateful today and every day for the dedication of women like Luckock who played an important role in Canada’s Cold War history. We are proud to continue their legacy by sharing their stories.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Stay tuned as we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary by uncovering stories from our museum’s collections.