The Youth Parliament of Manitoba is one of the oldest organizations of its kind. The 98th session made its mark on history as the first year that the membership elected an all-female Executive team. This event serves as an opportunity to acknowledge other female accomplishments from throughout YPM’s history.
Women’s involvement in Youth Parliament began in 1972, when eight women were approved to attend the 51st Session as associate members. After much debate, the Older Boys’ Parliament had voted against changing their organization’s name in order to accommodate their new female members, and therefore the women who attend this year’s session were not granted voting rights.
In the following year, women were granted voting rights within the newly named Youth Parliament of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. This momentous step forward came after the women of Manitoba had created their own organization, Women’s Model Parliament of which there were 3 sessions.
The evidence of female success in YPMNO became undeniable when Ann Thompson became the first female Premier in 1979, just seven years after women were allowed into the organization. It was an honour to have Ann Thompson visit last year to witness her legacy carried forward by the all-female Executive team of the 98th Session.
Today’s Youth Parliament would not be possible without the collaboration and input of people of all gender identities.