|Date of Issue||August 28, 2023|
Current monetary value: $0.92.
|Series Time Span||2023|
Born in Montréal, Simonne Monet-Chartrand began her activism in the 1930s when she joined the Jeunesse étudiante catholique (part of the Catholic youth movement) and its women’s branch, Jeunesse étudiante catholique féminine. A devout Christian, her efforts to modernize the institution underpinned her lifelong mission for social justice.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Monet-Chartrand worked as a writer, researcher and panelist on Radio-Canada programs such as Fémina and Femme d’aujourd’hui. She participated in the founding of the pacifist organization Voice of Women in the 1960s. She was part of the Voice of Women delegation to Moscow in 1963, for the Women’s International Democratic Federation’s World Congress of Women, which focused on peace, disarmament, unity and women’s rights. In 1966, she co-founded the Fédération des femmes du Québec (FFQ).
A prolific author, Monet-Chartrand wrote several books on Quebec women, as well as a four-volume autobiography, Ma vie comme rivière. In 1992, she received the Prix Idola-Saint-Jean from the FFQ for her contributions to half a century of change and progress for women.
“Her father was a judge, and very early in her life, before she was a teenager, he would always tell her, ‘You’re as smart as a man. Think about this and make sure you are valued as a woman. You’re a brilliant, intelligent girl,’” says Alain Chartrand, one of her seven children. “It gave her enormous self-confidence. She was never afraid of the authorities, neither church nor police.”
For decades, Quebec women have been at the forefront of women’s and workers’ rights and the fight to redress social and economic inequalities in their province. While the movement for women’s rights continues, the work of three Canadian women stands apart.
The new stamp issue highlights the lives and achievements of three Quebec women who were lifelong advocates for workers’ and women’s rights and other causes: Léa Roback, Madeleine Parent and Simonne Monet-Chartrand. Their activism foreshadowed many of the advancements made in equality and justice in Canada.