In focus

A circle of female journalists in Ottawa

It is the initiative of Henriette Rouleau, a civil servant with the federal government, to create the Cercle des femmes journalistes de l'Outaouais (CFJO) in Ottawa in 1960. This group is a subsidiary of the Cercle des femmes journalistes de Montréal, which brings together a hundred or so female journalism professionals. The CFJO shares the social and political ambitions of the Montréal group, and seeks to offer women journalists in the National Capital Region a place to meet and discuss. It also strives to promote their interests and defend their professional status.

Influenced by the resurgence of feminism at the time, the media are granting more space to female journalists, reporters and hosts. In Quebec, famous female journalists such as Renée Rowan, Judith Jasmin and Andréanne Lafond help to crack the image patiently constructed by the women’s press of the consumer mother primarily preoccupied with daily household tasks. The CFJO includes pioneers such as Germaine Bundock and Renaude Lapointe. After working as journalists in major Quebec newspapers, they both move to Ottawa to take up positions as information officers for the federal government, the first in 1957, the second in 1970.

In 1970, the Outaouais circle ceases to view itself as a professional association. It becomes a social club instead, before officially dissolving in 1993.