First woman elected to the House of Commons. Agnes Macphail was born in rural Ontario. While working as a young schoolteacher she became involved with progressive political movements, including the United Farm Women of Ontario. She also began writing a newspaper column. She was elected to the Commons as a member of the Progressive Party of Canada in 1921. Her causes included rural issues, pensions for seniors, workers rights, and pacifism. She also lobbied for penal reform and established the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada. She later was elected to Ontario’s Legislative Assembly, where she initiated Ontario’s first equal-pay legislation in 1951.
Although IWD is celebrated on March 8th, there are so many women whose work has improved numerous lives throughout the world, some of who are our very own, within the IAM. Throughout the month of March we will feature women from different parts of the world and historical eras to remind us that the women’s movement indeed has deep and long roots. Follow us as we learn together about women who have left a mark on history and society.
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