As part of International Women’s Day, the City of Vancouver introduced “Helena Gutteridge Plaza” outside Vancouver city hall.
Helena Gutteridge was the first woman to ever be voted in as city councillor back in 1937. Gutteridge dedicated a large part of her life advocating for equal pay for women, social housing and the right to vote.
“As a city councilor, as a woman city councillor, it’s a great day. This is the first plaza in the city named after a woman anywhere. We’ve been trying to get Helena’s name specifically somewhere and having it right here at city hall… my office looks down on this plaza.” Andrea Reimer, Vancouver city councillor
Despite the rain, dozens showed up to be a part of the historic event, including Mayor Gregor Robertson
Happy #InternationalWomensDay! On #IWD2018 we celebrate the achievements of women's long struggle for justice & equality around the world. In #Vancouver, we're honouring Helena Gutteridge—Vancouver's first female Councillor—with the unveiling of a new plaza in her name. #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/50WLk7uNT6
— Van Mayor's Office (@VanMayorsOffice) March 8, 2018
Poetry in the rain with Vancouver Poet Laureate Rachel Rose as we celebrate #InternationalWomansDay at unveiling of the Helena Gutteridge Plaza – to honour the first woman to be elected to our city council. pic.twitter.com/qCO7oUY0UI
— Janet Fraser (@janetrfraser) March 8, 2018
Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan attended the event and said that educating the boys about respecting woman and equality is very significant.
“As we talk about giving confidence to our daughters, which is extremely important, we need to be raising our boys in a manner that show the importance of gender equality.” – Harjit Sajjan, Defense Minister
Gutteridge was born in England but came to Vancouver in 1911 along with British activists to help improve the women’s suffrage movement.
She passed away on Oct.1st 1960.