On today’s date in 1975, a Canadian delegation attended the opening of the World Conference on Women, the first international conference held by the United Nations (UN) solely promoting women’s issues.
One of the events held under the banner of International Women’s Year, which was a UN designation for the year 1975, the conference marked a turning point in policy with the creation of the UN Decade for Women and subsequent conferences to evaluate the progress towards gender equality. Altogether, representatives from more than 130 states participated in the conference.
Two documents – the “World Plan of Action,” with specific targets on a national level, and the “Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace,” discussing how nations’ foreign policy actions impacted women – were also signed. The International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women was also formed to track progress while the United Nations Development Fund for Women began providing funding for development programs.
A month after the conference – on July 14, 1975 – Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) issued an eight-cent stamp (Scott #668) as part of its United Nations International Women’s Year issue.
Printed by the British American Bank Note Company, the stamps measure 25 millimetres by 30 millimetres (vertical).
Other nations, including the German Democratic Republic (also known as East Germany), also issued stamps marking International Women’s Year.