Who is Monique Bégin?
Begin was born in Rome and raised in France and Portugal before immigrating to Canada at the end of World War II. She received a MA degree in sociology from the Université de Montréal and a PhD degree from the Sorbonne.
In 1967, she became executive secretary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, which published its report in 1970. She won election to the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal candidate in the 1972 election. Bégin, Albanie Morin and Jeanne Sauvé, all elected in 1972, were the first women ever elected to the House of Commons from Quebec.
She was appointed to the Canadian Cabinet by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as Minister of National Revenue in 1976, and served as Minister of Health and Welfare from 1977 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984 during which the Canada Health Act was enacted.
In 1986, she joined the University of Ottawa and Carleton University as the first joint Ottawa-Carleton Chair of Women's Studies. From 1990 to 1997, she was the University of Ottawa's dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and continues teaching to this day as a professor emeritus. From 1993 to 1995, she also served as co-chair of Ontario's Royal Commission on Learning with Gerald Caplan.
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