Tuesday, May 22

Ruth Bell - Clearing the way

Ruth Bell points to her freshly polished lapel pins, one distinguishing her as a recipient of the 2005 Governor General's Award in commemoration of the Persons case, the famous 1929 petition that helped spark the first wave of the fledgling Canadian women's rights movement.

The other pin recognizes her as a recipient of the Order of Canada.

Now, Bell has another feather for her cap, as she was recognized for her lifetime of dedication to women's rights at the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Awards last night.

A former educator, the wife of a cabinet minister and lifelong activist, Bell spent six decades fighting for political and economic equality for women.

She pressed governments to appoint women to the public service commission, served as president or chair of a number of women's rights organizations, and established the Forum for Young Canadians.


The title of her book, Be a Nice Girl, stems from her 1974 battle with then-Royal Bank president Earle McLaughlin, which resulted in the first women being appointed to sit on the bank's board of directors.

LINK: Ottawa Sun

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