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8 Important Quotes from Canadian Women in Politics

On December 9th, we will welcome three of Canada’s female cabinet ministers to our Luncheon stage for State of Our Nation: Let’s Talk About Women in Politics. But first, we look back to some of Canada’s formative female political leaders and activists for the wisdom they shared then, and which still applies today.   





“We must open the doors and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through.”

Rosemary Brown, politician, activist, and Canada’s first black female member of a provincial legislature



“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult.”

Charlotte Whitton, first female mayor of Ottawa



“I do not want to be the angel of any home; I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality. After that is secured, then men and women can take turns at being angels.”

Agnes Macphail, first woman member of Parliament in Canada



“Never retreat, never explain, never apologize – get the thing done and let them howl!”

Nellie McClung, Canadian activist and author



“People ask me, ‘Are you proud of the fact that you were Canada’s first woman prime minister?’ I respond, ‘Yes, but I’d be prouder still to say I was Canada’s tenth woman prime minister.’”

Kim Campbell, Canada’s first and only female Prime Minister



“The purpose of a woman’s life is just the same as the purpose of a man’s life: that she may make the best possible contribution to the generation in which she is living.”

Louise McKinney, provincial politician and women’s rights activist, first woman sworn into the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and the first woman elected to a legislature in Canada



“If politics mean…the effort to secure through legislative action better conditions of life for the people, greater opportunities for our children and other people’s children…then it most assuredly is a woman’s job as much as it is a man’s job.”

Irene Parlbly, women’s farm leader, activist and politician



“I believe that never was a country better adapted to produce a great race of women than this Canada of ours, nor a race of women better adapted to make a great country.”

Emily Murphy, women’s rights activist, jurist, and author


Interested in joining the conversation? Purchase your ticket here.