Rural Feminist Activism and Religious Fundamentalism in Nova Scotia, Canada


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Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre

by Lucille Harper, Leona M. English and Betsy MacDonald

In one rural school board district in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, there has been a concerted effort led by a small group of religious fundamentalists, with support from fathers’ rights activists, to limit and in some instances to prevent students from accessing information about personal relationships, health and sexuality. This paper explores four situations that occurred between 2002 and 2008 in which some members of the local school board actively resisted the provision of resources and programs that were approved for students by the Nova Scotia Department of Education. It provides an analysis of the strategies used by a local women’s organization working with community allies to support the provision of the Rural Youth Healthy Relationships Education Project (2002), Sex? A Healthy Sexuality Resource (first edition, 2004), Youth Health Centres (2006), and the Healthy Relationships for Youth Program (2007).

This resource is one part of AWID’s 2010 series of 18 Case studies, Feminists on the Frontline: Case Studies of Resisting and Challenging Fundamentalisms 

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