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Six Canadian women honoured with Governor General’s Persons Case awards

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 @ 12:43 PM | By John Chunn

Minister of Status of Women Maryam Monsef on Oct. 18 announced the recipients of the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case for 2018.

These outstanding Canadian women are: Rina Arseneault, Fredericton; Shirley Cuillierrier, Ottawa; Rina Fraticelli, Toronto; Charlotte Hrenchuk, Whitehorse, Yukon; Hélène Lee-Gosselin, Ste. Pétronille, Que.; and Alana Robert, Winnipeg (Youth).

Persons Day occurs annually on Oct. 18. This celebration marks the pivotal moment in 1929 when five Canadian women — Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung — won the right for women to be legally recognized as “persons” under the law and thereby be appointed to the Senate.

The Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case were created in 1979 to mark the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking Persons Case. In 2000, the Youth Award was introduced to recognize the achievements of those between the ages of 15 and 30 years of age who are making a difference to advance gender equality.

“The Famous Five were trailblazers who helped remove barriers to gender equality,” said Monsef. “Almost 90 years after their historic victory, it is my pleasure to pay tribute to them and to recognize women who are making a difference in Canada today to advance gender equality. I am honoured to share this year’s occasion with Governor General Julie Payette, and congratulate the six recipients for their incredible dedication, passion and commitment to making their country and the world a better place. Their leadership and stories are reminders that together, we can make gender equality a reality.”