Though women comprise more than half of Canada's population, they have not always been recognized for their achievements and their influence on society as a group, or as individuals. Until relatively recently, women were constantly stereotyped and expected to fill the traditional representation of housewife and mother. However, in post-war Canada, a wave of women's civil rights movements, fueled by earlier suffrage movements, changed these oppressive standards by vocalizing the importance of women in society and striving to achieve equal social rights for women. Women's movements have had a profound impact on middle-class women in Canada and in turn, their roles in shaping Canadian society. Through organization in numbers, women's movements empowered women to find a voice in a clearly patriarchal society and helped them to break away from standard expectations. Women's organization helped to reform society's views and reactions to women by helping them create unique identities for themselves, both at home and on the job. Though women have yet to find perfect equality in Canada, women's movements have certainly helped to improve the quality of life for Canadian women and have given them the power to become involved in their own affairs and to achieve new goals. In post-World War II Canada, women's movements shaped Canada by giving women greater social freedoms, and thereby empowering these women to contribute greatly to Canada economically and politically.
Women's movements in post-WWII Canada gave women social freedoms that allowed them to explore non-traditional women's roles. In pre-world War II Canada, the role of women in society was clearly defined and adhered to for the majority of women. The majority of women were generally expected to fill the traditional role as housekeeper, attentive wife and caregiver of children. Though recognized as persons under the law and given many responsibilities in the home, women were still legally grouped with and generally regarded as children.