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Jill McCalla Vickers is one of the most influential scholars in the field of women and politics in Canada— in fact, Laura Macdonald, chair of Carleton’s department of political science, credits her with the field’s creation.
Although Vickers retired in July 2007, as a distinguished research professor she continues to teach, conduct research and write in areas such as women’s efforts to contribute to democracy and their participation in nationalist movements.
Since joining the Carleton faculty in 1971, Vickers has combined teaching and scholarly analysis with direct involvement in both mainstream and women’s politics. She has contributed to the understanding of women and political representation, issues of disability and race, gender and nationalism. Her direct involvement has taken many forms, from submission of dozens of reports advising government agencies to serving as Parliamentarian of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women for five years.
A renowned authority in the politics of women’s rights, comparative approaches to women’s participation, and the relationship between gender and nationalism, Vickers is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles, including Politics as if Women Mattered: a Political Analysis of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Re-inventing Political Science: A Feminist Approach and Gender, Race and Nation: A Global Approach.
Vickers characterizes her long battle for women’s rights as “building bridges between governments and women.” As she explains, “They’re our governments, too, and we must get them to pay attention to women’s issues and values.”