International Women’s Day holds a special place in my heart. I am raising two women. I’ve always felt a great responsibility in having daughters. This is why over the years I’ve created an International Women’s Day booklist and shared different ways to celebrate IWD with kids.
We are so fortunate to live where we do. My daughters are growing up in a fairly progressive city, within a socially conscious country. This isn’t to say that everything is perfect, but they definitely have the foundation and the opportunities to grow into whoever and whatever they want to be.
20 Historic Canadian Women
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Choose to Challenge”. How will we choose to challenge bias, gender inequalities, access to health care, social constraints women face and anything else you want to choose to challenge. I firmly believe that one of the first things to do when you want to change a situation is to do the research. Learn the history of the issue. This is what led me to create this printable collection of 20 profiles of historic Canadian women. To learn the history of women’s activism in Canada. To learn who our female pioneers are and examine the ripples that their work has created for modern Canadian women.
Our profiles of 20 Historic Canadian Women Fact Sheet include these women’s names and stories:
- The Famous Five
- Violet King
- Mary Two-Axe Early
- Emily Carr
- Mary Ann Shadd
Some of these names and stories will be familiar. Some of these names and stories will be totally new to you. I have included the names and lives of white women, indigenous women and women of colour. I’ve tried to cover a broad range of areas of activism – artists, politicians, performers and storytellers. These are only a fraction of the incredible Canadian women who gave their time, energy and often their wellbeing, for the betterment of future generations of women.
International Women’s Day Activity for Kids
My hope is you will print off our 20 Historic Canadian Women Fact Sheet and share them with your children or your students. Use this collection as a jumping-off point to learn more. Dig deeper into these women’s stories. There are so many amazing books and online resources about historic Canadian women. I’ll share a few at the end of this post.
Turn these profiles into a creative project.
- Write a story from the perspective of one of these women. Write about her greatest challenge or greatest achievement.
- Place your selected woman in a different era. What would a woman from the 1900’s think of the modern world and vice versa?
- Create a piece of artwork that is inspired by one or more of the women in this collection.
- Learn more. Add to our list of incredible Canadian women.
Books About Historic Canadian Women
Canadian Women Now and Then: More Than 100 Stories of Fearless Trailblazers by Elizabeth MacLeod – Discover the inspiring stories of Canadian women through short stories
The Kids Book of Great Canadian Women by Elizabeth MacLeod – MacLeod introduces young readers to the stories of even more amazing Canadian women and their achievements.
Viola Desmond – A Brave Woman’s Stand Against Discrimination in Canada – True Canadian Heroes by Professor Beaver – Explore the True Canadian Heroes series of books for individual books that focus on many of the women on our list.
Enjoy our collection of books that highlight incredible women from around the world – fiction and nonfiction characters…a great collection to read on International Women’s Day
Looking for more ways to celebrate International Women’s Day? Take a look at our 10 Things to do on IWD for some fun ideas.
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