October is Women’s History Month

In 1992 the Government of Canada designated October as Women's History Month in Canada.

After a successful lobbying campaign initiated by Lyn Gough of Victoria, British Columbia.  The goal was to encourage greater appreciation of the notable contributions of women to Canadian history. October was selected because it was on October 18th, 1929 that Canadian women were first declared to be legally considered as 'persons', and therefore eligible to join the Senate of Canada.

The Project Team: Project leaders were Lyn Gough, Katherine (Kay) Armstrong, and Kathy Blasco; all from Victoria, B.C.  Other Victoria women involved in the campaign were Sylvia Bagshaw, Catherine Draper, and Avis Rasmussen.  Lyn Gough is a historian and author of a book about pioneers in the Women's Temperance Movement. Kay Armstrong was a recipient of the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, and Kathy Blasco was a school teacher.

Notable Black Women in B.C.’S History:  Information about Black women in our history is difficult to find; often Black women were not even mentioned by name, let alone having any other information given about them as individuals.  For example, population data would list women as “and wife”.  Even today, books written about women or by women neglect women from minority groups.

These pioneer women, clearly the head of the household and raising the children also undertook work as laundress, cooks, teachers, midwives, ran boarding houses, and in most cases worked with their husbands to farm.

For more information on these pioneer women, check out our Stories and  Information Sources: Women that provides biographical information on some notable Black women dating back to 1858.

Information on contemporary Canadian Black women can be found at the links below.

From The Room " Each year when February rolls around there is a sudden influx of content, online, in libraries and elsewhere, featuring black writers, artists, activists and historical moments and figures ... we centre on writers in the here and now... Here is a list of some of our most beloved black Canadian women writers and authors... "

HERstory in Black; a project initiated as part of Canada 150 celebrations in 2017; shares the experiences of 150 women who excel in their field, who push for greater diversity and who help build vibrant communities.

How She Hustles is a vibrant network of diverse Canadian women that connects through social media and special events; through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, How She Hustles maintains a virtual village of social influencers and supporters. Digital content has included a Friday Facebook live series, Q&A profiles of women to watch, and contests and promotions for women-led events and businesses.

A Guide to Women in Canadian History