Lesson Plan: For Teachers: What Women Want
Have students interview an older woman they know. Students can find out how women's roles have changed since that person's childhood, as well as what that person thinks women want and need. Have students share their information with the class. Discussion might focus on how answers compare depending on the age, geographical location, or life experiences of the women interviewed. Alternatively, invite several women to the class to answer similar questions. Create a class summary of the issues raised, what factors might affect those issues, and of people's perceptions of women's wants and needs.
Write the term Royal Commission on the board and ask students what they know about Royal Commissions. Explain that students are going to investigate the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, and in what context. Be aware that some comments on the clips reflect the thinking of an earlier era and would be considered inappropriate today.
Outline the Opportunity
Have students visit the topic Equality First: The Royal Commission on the Status of Women on the CBC Digital Archives website. They can browse the site for 30 minutes, scanning the titles, sub-titles, story summaries, and visuals, and viewing any clips of interest. Have them list all of the issues they find that are related to the Royal Commission on the Status of Women mentioned in the site, such as job equity, poverty, rights for Aboriginal women, women in the work force, and so on. Have them list, as well, issues and groups of women that they think are left out of the Commission's work.
Revisit and Reflect
Have students share their findings in small groups and then with the class. Compare the issues raised to those noted from the interviews, and add any that were not originally included.
List the groups or issues not dealt with by the commission. Ask students to consider why these groups or issues were left out, what the impact of this omission might be, and what the needs or wants of these groups would be today.
Students can brainstorm questions they have about the Royal Commission on the Status of Women and explore them through the website. Some students may wish to return to the women they interviewed and ask them what issues related to the status of women they believe still need to be addressed.