The accomplishments of women are being celebrated as part of International Women’s Day.
From politicians to artists and authors, some of Canada’s most notable women continue to make history many years later.
Now, a civil rights activist will become the first Canadian woman to be featured on a banknote.
The new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond was unveiled in Halifax today.
Desmond, who is often referred to as the “Rosa Parks of Canada,” challenged racial segregation in Nova Scotia in the 1940s.
However, a new poll suggests Canadians know very little about the achievements of Desmond and many other historically significant women in our country.
“I recognize her, but I can’t remember her name,” said one woman in Victoria who was handed a photo of Desmond.
“Her name is escaping me right now,” said another woman.
The survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Historica Canada, found the majority of Canadians couldn?t name the achievements of such famous women as Emily Carr and Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Thirty-seven per cent of respondents could name the achievements the Victoria-born artist, while 27 per cent knew of Montgomery’s literary works including Anne of Green Gables.
The survey found that 40 per cent of respondents were unfamiliar with any of the 15 Canadian women featured in the poll.
While there is clearly room for more awareness and education, the new banknote featuring a woman is something all Canadians can be proud of.
“Thank god for women like them,” said another woman we spoke with.