MONTREAL – A group of prominent Quebec women, referring to themselves as ‘Les Janette’, are throwing their support behind the Quebec Charter of Values and the ban on religious symbols.
Radio and TV host, Janette Bertrand, recruited nearly 20 famous women to defend the charter, including, actress Denise Filiatrault, television producer Julie Snyder, writer Djemila Benhabib and film producer Denise Robert.
In an open letter published in Le Devoir, Le Journal de Montréal et La Presse, Bertrand addresses ‘the women of Quebec’ and argues that the Charter has the potential to end religious oppression and gender inequality.
‘Les Janette’ recalls the Yvette movement of the 1980 referendum campaign.
In a major gaffe on March 9, 1980 Cabinet minister Lise Payette denounced women supporters of the “No” side as Yvettes, the name of a docile young girl in an old school manual.
Payette went so far as calling Liberal Leader Claude Ryan’s wife, Madeleine, an Yvette.
This backfired spectacularly as the Yvettes, led by Madeleine Ryan, held a number of political rallies in response to her remarks.
Read full letter below