Celebrating women in politics

VICTORIA – At a special ceremony in the British Columbia Legislature an exhibition called “Women and the Vote” was unveiled showcasing the women in BC who have taken leadership roles in politics as elected officials and advocates for women’s voting rights.

Guests at the Legislature included the BC delegates of Equal Voice’s Daughters of the Vote and a panel of currently elected female Members of the Legislative Assembly.

“The event was a proud moment for all women who have been elected,” said Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “I am honoured to be one of the 102 women elected to our Legislature in the last 100 years.

“This project, spearheaded by Speaker Linda Reid, will stand as a reminder of the strong women who have come before us and as an inspiration to the women who will take their places as leaders in the legislature and over the province,” said Bond.

The “Women and the Vote” exhibit highlighted a number of accomplishments by B.C. women, including:

  • Mary Ellen Smith
    • First female Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia (1918)
    • First female member of cabinet (without a portfolio) in the British Empire (1921)
    • First female acting speaker in the British Empire (1928)
  • Premier Christy Clark – First elected  female Premier of British Columbia
  • Minister Shirley Bond – First female Attorney General of British Columbia
  • Nancy Hodges – First elected female Speaker of the Commonwealth Nations (1950)
  • Tilly Rolston – First female cabinet minister in Canada with a portfolio (1952)
  • Rosemary Brown – First black Canadian female to be elected (1972)

The “Women and the Vote” unveiling is part of the Speaker’s celebrations for Women’s History Month. The Daughters of the Vote national initiative is run by Equal Voice – a multi-partisan organization that strives to encourage more women to run for politics.  The Daughters were selected after a national application process for young women between 18 and 23. They will be going to Ottawa to fill all 308 House of Commons seats on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017.