Minister Monsef launches Women of Impact in Canada gallery to mark Women’s History Month

News release

This October, join the celebrations using the hashtag #MakeAnImpact

October 2, 2018 – Kingston, Ontario – Status of Women Canada

Advancing gender equality remains one of the Government of Canada’s most important priorities. As part of this year’s Women’s History Month celebrations, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, today launched the Women of Impact in Canada gallery, which honours the lives and legacies of more than 100 courageous women and girls from coast to coast to coast throughout Canada’s history.

The gallery introduces Canadians to these women, though photographs, biographies, timelines of historic milestones, as well as an interactive map of Canada. By sharing their stories, we can cement their place in history and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. The goal for the gallery is that it live on, meaning that it is not a complete list of women of impact, but rather, a continually evolving gallery of women to which Canadians can contribute by nomination. The site also contains a rich toolkit of activities that can be used by organizations, educators, and everyday Canadians to learn, engage, and be inspired.

The launch of the gallery featured a panel discussion with three women of impact: Cuddles for Cancer founder Faith Dickinson, military trailblazer Louise Fish, and international peace advocate Alaa Murabit, who joined the Minister to discuss the importance of recognizing women’s achievements and continuing to achieve progress towards gender equality. The panel discussion was hosted in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University with members of Queen’s Female Leadership in Politics (QFLIP).

The Women of Impact in Canada gallery inspired this year’s theme, Make an impact, in recognition of the women and girls who have made a lasting impact in fields such as STEM, the arts, politics, and human rights, as well as the courageous trailblazers who were the first in male-dominated fields. Throughout Women’s History Month, which includes International Day of the Girl on October 11 and Persons Day on October 18, people from across the country are encouraged to learn more about the remarkable women and girls who have advanced gender equality for everyone. Show your support and celebrate the women of impact in your community with the hashtag #MakeAnImpact.


“Women’s History Month is an opportunity for us to celebrate the courageous women and girls who have shaped, and who continue to shape, our country’s history. Whether reaching for success in fields as diverse as STEM, the arts and politics, or paving the way for others as trailblazers and human rights defenders, all of the women that we celebrate in the Women of Impact in Canada gallery have something in common: courage. Courage to make change, to tear down barriers, and ultimately, to improve the lives of all Canadians. And while some of them are already well known, there are so many stories that we have yet to hear, each and every one of them important to Canadian history. Their accomplishments are an inspiration, and their stories are a call to action, reminding each of us of the potential we have to make an impact and change the world.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

Quick facts

  • In 1992, the Government of Canada designated October as Women’s History Month, marking the beginning of an annual month-long opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women in Canada.

  • International Day of the Girl is a United Nations observance day dedicated to championing girls’ rights around the world. It is celebrated each year on October 11, and it is an important part of Canada’s Women’s History Month celebrations.

  • Persons Day is celebrated on October 18 to mark the day in 1929 when the historic decision to include women in the legal definition of “persons” was handed down by Canada’s highest court of appeal.

  • The Women of Impact in Canada gallery was created as an educational resource for people to learn more about the remarkable women and girls who have made a lasting impact throughout Canada’s history.

  • The gallery’s nomination process allows Canadians to nominate deserving women and girls who have made a lasting impact on our country through their achievements and contributions.

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Justine Villeneuve
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Valérie Haché
Communications Officer
Status of Women Canada

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