Amazing Canadian Women!
October is Women’s History Month in Canada, a time to celebrate the important achievements and contributions women and girls have made to Canada and our world.
To mark this momentous month we thought we’d share with you some facts about Women in Canadian History. And we are starting with one of our own, Girl Guides of Canada Honourary Member Dr. Roberta Bondar (also fitting because it’s World Space Week).
On Saturday, Dr. Bondar received a well-deserved standing ovation as she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in recognition of her contributions to science, innovation and the environment. Dr. Bondar made history as the world’s first neurologist in space and Canada’s first woman in space in 1992 when she took part in the space shuttle Discovery’s mission STS-42.
Other great achievements by Canadian women include:
- If not for Laura Secord, Canada might be part of the United States today. In 1813, Secord made a brave journey on foot during the War of 1812. She saved Canada by warning the British of an American attack.
- On July 1, 1916 newly appointed judge Emily Murphy, the first woman appointed magistrate in the British Empire, has her first day in court in Edmonton, Alberta.
- In 1941 Jessie Gray is the first Canadian woman to become a “fellow” in the Royal College of Surgeons and the first woman member of the Central Surgical Society of North America.
- Major Wendy Clay is the first woman to qualify for her pilot’s wings in 1974, Canadian Air Force Captains Nora Bottomley, Dee Brasseur and Leah Mosher followed Major Clay’s lead in 1981, graduating as the first Canadian women military pilots.
- Jeanne Sauvé is not only Canada’s first Canadian woman Governor General, she is also the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons.
- In 1988 marathon swimmer Vicki Keith Munro becomes the first person to swim cross all five North American Great Lakes.
- Manon Rhéaume was the first woman to play hockey professionally in the NHL as a goalie with the Tampa Bay Lightning
- Viola Desmond, a successful Halifax beautician and businesswoman, decided to catch a movie in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, at a segregated theatre. She chose her seat and was jailed, injured and subsequently fined for not sitting in the assigned area. Viola’s efforts were not in vain as the publicity helped put an end to this kind of discrimination.
Is it good to have a month dedicated to women or better yet, should we receive year-round recognition? What do you think?