International Women's Day


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A S U P P L E M E N T T O T H E W I N N I P E G F R E E P R E S S | S A T U R D A Y , M A R C H 7 , 2 0 2 0 A selection committee faces the difficult task of narrowing down the pool of nominees to come up with 150 recipients of the Manitoba Women Trailblazers Awards, offered through The Nellie McClung Foundation in partnership with the Winnipeg Free Press and The Manitoba Museum. In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Manitoba becoming a province, the 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazer Awards will honour female leaders throughout history up until the present day. Women who lived in the area before Manitoba was named a province are also eligible for the award. The award recipients will be announced in May during a reception at The Manitoba Museum. Board chair Doris Mae Oulton explained that The Nellie McClung Foundation was founded with two mandates in mind. The first was to put up a monument on the Manitoba legislative grounds featuring the "Famous Five": Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby. The second aim is to promote the legacy of Nellie McClung — and the 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazer Awards is one way to fulfill this mandate. "The legacy of Nellie McClung is about women's rights and promoting access to opportunities for women," Oulton said. "We want to make sure that education around the importance of women's issues, rights and equity remains in the public eye. That's why we're doing this project." The purpose of the awards is to recognize Manitoba women who were the first in their field or made a significant impact in their community. Members of the public had the chance to nominate women or collectives of women who impacted the development of the province, either through their work or as volunteers. The nominees need to reflect the spirit of Nellie McClung, demonstrate leadership and act as a role model. Oulton noted that women have made a meaningful difference in a multitude of roles, including as midwives, nuns, translators, entrepreneurs, founders of women's institutes and hospital auxiliaries — and so much more. "We're concerned that the very important role many women have played is going to be lost. We need to share the stories of the importance that women played throughout history. There were so many things happening below the surface that need to be recognized," Oulton said. "These stories need to be woven into the fabric of what we remember as being important to the development of our province — and not just during the last 150 years. There were lots of women who were here before that who were making important contributions too." The flood of nominations revealed remarkable stories of women who have blazed trails in communities throughout the province. "We were thrilled with the response that we got," Oulton said. "We have some really great nominees and we want to make sure their stories get recognized." The nominees' stories will be documented in a book that will be available in French and English, as well as in a temporary exhibit at The Manitoba Museum. As part of a parallel project, The Nellie McClung Foundation recently released a book called Faces & Places: Trailblazing Women of Manitoba by Judy Waytiuk. This publication serves as a history book as well as a guide to exploring Manitoba's sites and trails associated with women who've made a difference in the development of the province. Faces & Places is available for purchase at McNally Robinson Booksellers. For more information about The Nellie McClung Foundation, and to see a full list of nominees for the 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazer Awards, visit ◗ "We were thrilled with the response that we got. We have some really great nominees and we want to make sure their stories get recognized." - Doris Mae Oulton Above left: Faces & Places is available at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Nellie McClung (middle left) blazed trails as a women's rights advocate. Along with Nellie McClung, the Famous Five also included (clockwise from top right) Henrietta Edwards, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby. Photos courtesy of The Nellie McClung Foundation Celebrating International Women's Day MARCH 8 #EACH FOR EQUAL For advertising information, call: 204-697-7389 View online at More than 345 noteworthy women are in the running to receive recognition as a Manitoba trailblazer, following in the footsteps forged by women's rights advocate Nellie McClung a century ago. Celebrating women TRAILBLAZERS Doris Mae Oulton, chair of the Nellie McClung Foundation, poses by the 1919 strike monument in Winnipeg on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Mikaela Mackenzie / Winnipeg Free Press

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