The political struggle for women's equality in Alberta has faced resistance from the Alberta Conservative government in the last three decades. Lois Harder examines the evolving dynamic between feminist claimsmakers and the Alberta state under the leadership of Peter Lougheed, Don Getty and Ralph Klein. In Harder's analysis, Alberta has addressed feminists' challenges with various strategies. During the oil boom of the 1970s, the province resisted feminists' demands, but with declining oil prices, the Charter, and changing public opinion, Alberta reluctantly began to implement initiatives that addressed issues of women's rights. With Klein's ascent to power, and under the guise of deficit reduction, Alberta adopted a neoliberal ideology that actively sought to shrink the province's role as a guarantor of equality. Lois Harder has written an important study of the radical evolution of politics in Alberta as seen through the lens of women's political struggles.
Lois Harder is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. She researches and teaches Canadian political economy, social policy, feminism and globalization.