The Women's Employment Resource Centre is hosting three events in May, July and October focused on local women

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Three free events hosted by the Women’s Employment Resource Centre in May, July and October will celebrate the roles of women as part of Canada 150 celebrations.

Entitled 150 Years of Changing Roles of Women in Oxford County, the first event takes place on Thursday, May 25 at 7 p.m. at the Woodstock Museum.

“Using 1867 as a start date we’ll be looking at different periods of time and women (and organizations) who have broken the mold at a particular time or made a change due to the events at the time, or due to the particular woman,” said Maggie McDonald, executive director of the Women’s Employment Resource Centre.

A few of those highlighted include the Women’s Institute, the YWCA, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, Woodstock’s first female mayor Bernadette Smith, Evelyn Fletcher, who developed a system of teaching music, as well as Quaker women from the south end of the county.

“A series of Quaker women gained prominence in the county,” McDonald said. “It’s because the Quakers believed in women being educated.”

A second event highlighting youth and women in the arts is slated for July on market day in Market Square and will feature dancers, theatre groups and singers.

An event during Women’s History Month in October will focus on women in work, such as those who toiled in ammunition plants, agriculture, local business owners, as well as women’s role in unions.

“We hope people will take away some appreciation for some of the roles women have played,” McDonald said. “When we talk about history — it’s men’s history. We don’t hear about women and the contributions they make.”

All three events are funded in part by Ontario Grants, through funds earmarked for commemorating Canada 150th anniversary.

While the events are free, to get tickets go to or call 5119-421-2077.








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