History of Canada The Nuclear Bomb, the Cold War and the Voice of Women • At 08:15 on 6 August 1945, the Allied Forces dropped the 12,000 ton atomic bomb “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan. Over 80,000 civilians were killed from the blast. • On 9 August 1945, the city of Nagasaki was destroyed by a second nuclear bomb called “Fat Boy.” Over 75,000 civilians died immediately. • Over the years, over 100,000 people have died from complications of radiation exposure. • Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, and WWII was over. • The world had entered into Nuclear Warfare. History of Canada The Nuclear Bomb, the Cold War and the Voice of Women • In 1945 the United Nations (UN) is formed. • A primary UN objective was establishing democratic governments in all liberated countries. The USSR stalls the transfer of power to the Polish Government, and as such, Poland is not represented at the UN. • The Cold War begins. The new world superpowers USA and USSR seek new resources for their expanding empires. • In Canada, a Soviet spy ring was uncovered during the 1945 Goushenko Affair. • The USSR occupies much of liberated Eastern Europe. In 1948, the Soviet Union supported a communist takeover of Czechoslovakia. In 1956, The Soviet Union invaded and occupied Hungary, and in 1968, the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia to stop political reforms. History of Canada The Nuclear Bomb, the Cold War and the Voice of Women • In 1948, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed to united the defenses of the democracies of Western Europe, USA and Canada against the spreading Soviet Union influence. • In 1957, Canada unveiled the Avro Arrow jet fighter to intercept Soviet bombers. On the same day, the Soviet introduced Sputnik and the intercontinental missile. • In 1958, the joint USA-Canada North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was established to protect North American airspace against a Soviet bomber attack. • For NORAD, the USA wants Canada to adopts the Bomarc Missile. On 20 February 1959 (Black Friday), Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker cancels the Arrow. • Canada accepts the USA Bomarc missiles in 1960 WITHOUT nuclear warheads. • The Liberals win the 1963 federal election and accept the nuclear warheads. For a short period, Canada has nuclear bombs. History of Canada The Nuclear Bomb, the Cold War and the Voice of Women • The Voice of Women was formed in 1960. Canadian women (1) feared the possibility of nuclear war and (2) questioned nuclear testing with respect to endangering their children's lives. • Writing in the Toronto Star, Columnist Lotta Dempsey asked women to contact her if they were willing to do something about the nuclear threat. Hundreds replied, and four women, Jo Davis, Dorothy Henderson, Helen Tucker and Beth Touzel, met with Dempsey. Soon afterwards, The Voice of Women was founded. • Thousands joined. They paid a membership fee of $2.00, and in return they received bimonthly newsletters urging them to form small groups, share ideas and encourage other women to join. History of Canada The Nuclear Bomb, the Cold War and the Voice of Women • In 1962, VOW organized an international conference in St Donat, Quebec to (1) form a worldwide partnership and (2) ask the United Nations to declare an International Year of Peace. The latter was proclaimed as International Co-operation Year in 1965. • VOW pressured the Canadian Government to support the international appeal for a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty resulting in the partial test ban in 1963. • VOW collected thousands of children's baby teeth for testing of Strontium 90 content. • VOW traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian women in defiance of the Cold War. • In opposition to the Vietnam War, VOW brought women from Vietnam to tour Canada on a well organized public speaking tour and meet with American women at border points across the country at mass rallies. History of Canada The Nuclear Bomb, the Cold War and the Voice of Women • In 1977, VOW was granted Observer Status at the United Nations. • In 1985, VOW organized the Women's International Peace Conference called "The Urgency for True Security: Women's Alternatives for Negotiating Peace.” Over 350 women from 33 countries attended the conference in Halifax. The women re-appropriated the word "security" defining it away from the military. • Today, VOW holds lectures, vigils, demonstrations, etc. protesting war events such as the Gulf Wars, the war in Kosovo and the war in Afghanistan. History of Canada The Nuclear Bomb, the Cold War and the Voice of Women VOW has five primary objectives: • To unite women in concern for the future of the world, • To help promote the mutual respect and cooperation among nations necessary for peaceful negotiations between world partners, • To protest war or the threat of war as the decisive method of exercising power, • To appeal to all national leaders to cooperate in the alleviation of the causes of war by common action for the economic and social betterment of all, and • To provide a means for women to exercise responsibility for the family of humankind. History of Canada The Nuclear Bomb, the Cold War and the Voice of Women Why is VOW important? • For the first time, Canadian women worked together for a political cause. • Canadian women united as a powerful force and recognized that their efforts can shape Canadian society. • The feminist movement arose from the ideas of unity, working together and strength. As such, VOW’s actions helped to redefine the role of women in Canadian society • VOW is active today. An example is the Raging Grannies.