Queen's celebrates Women's History Month

Series of events at the Ban Righ Centre aim to raise awareness of women’s contributions to society

Photographs of female graduates at Queen’s are displayed as part of Women’s History Month on campus.
Photographs of female graduates at Queen’s are displayed as part of Women’s History Month on campus.
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National Women’s History Month is being celebrated officially for the first time in Kingston with a series of events at the Ban Righ Centre.

This month, Ban Righ plans to put the spotlight on women’s achievements.

“It’s not that men don’t make contributions to society, but a lot of what women do goes unrecognized, like taking care of the elderly or raising the children,” Carole Morrison, director of the Ban Righ Centre, said. “In my experience, I witnessed that women get promoted a lot less often than men.”

The month features several talks on topics ranging from feminism in Islam to what stories to tell future generations of women.

Women’s History Month began in 1992 after a lobbying campaign led by British Columbia historian and activist Lyn Gough. The month of October was chosen to honour the memory of the 1929 Persons Case, which declared that women were persons and therefore eligible to sit on the Senate in Canada.

The Ban Righ Centre has planned an event to coincide with the 83rd anniversary of the case.

“We have two well-known people, Senator Nancy Rouse and retired Senator Lois Wilson, and they will speak on what stories we should tell our grandkids,” Morrison said.

Kingston’s Mayor Mark Gerretsen will also be on hand to introduce the event.

“The City of Kingston never officially proclaimed [National Women’s History Month], so the mayor will be coming down and we prepared a proclamation for him to read,” Morrison said.

The Ban Righ Centre has affected Canada as a whole, Morrison said, helping women fulfill their potential educationally.

“We asked women who used the Ban Righ Centre to come back,” Morrison said, adding that some of these women will appear on posters that ask ‘Where is She Now?’ “The students that the Ban Righ Centre has served over a number of years are going out and they are in every kind of different profession all across Canada,” she said, “and a few internationally as well.”

Famous female Queen's graduates

1951: Priscilla Galloway, award-winning novelist

1968: Shirley Tilghman, the first female President of Princeton University

1973: Nancy Wilson, CBC anchor

1991: Anna Olson, chef on the Food Network.

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