Power Shift

Power Shift is a nonfiction book by Sally Armstrong.

Sally Armstrong

The facts are indisputable. When women get even a bit of education, the whole of society improves. When they get a bit of healthcare, everyone lives longer. In many ways, it has never been a better time to be a woman: a fundamental shift has been occurring. Yet from Toronto to Timbuktu the promise of equality still eludes half the world's population.

In her 2019 CBC Massey Lectures, award-winning author, journalist, and human rights activist Sally Armstrong illustrates how the status of the female half of humanity is crucial to our collective surviving and thriving. Drawing on anthropology, social science, literature, politics, and economics, she examines the many beginnings of the role of women in society, and the evolutionary revisions over millennia in the realms of sex, religion, custom, culture, politics, and economics. What ultimately comes to light is that gender inequality comes at too high a cost to us all. (From House of Anansi Press)

Sally Armstrong is an author, journalist and human rights activist.

Listen to the Massey Lectures

“There’s never been a better time in human history to be a woman,” says Sally Armstrong in the first of her first 2019 CBC Massey Lectures: Power Shift: The Longest Revolution. The acclaimed journalist and activist argues that women are closer to gaining equality than ever before. She examines how over the centuries women lost power and status to men — right up to today. *Originally broadcast on November 11, 2019. 53:59
In Sally Armstrong's second lecture, she explores sex: the history of sex for procreation, for pleasure, for business. In our time, monogamy is the norm, but evolutionary biology suggests that in prehistory, it wasn't. Throughout history, we've seen increasing control of women — and as a result, the domination of women's bodies by men. *Originally published on November 12, 2019. 53:59
The award-winning journalist and 2019 Massey Lecturer answers our version of the Proust Questionnaire. 4:45
Sally Armstrong, author of 'Ascent of Women,' discusses why women remain under-represented in Canadian politics 8:49
Few journalists have tracked the stories of girls and women in peril as tirelessly as Sally Armstrong. And for all the heartache she has documented, Armstrong now sees revolutionary change underway. 23:42

Interviews with Sally Armstrong



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.