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[Perspectives] Monique Bégin: Canadian health icon

When, in 1976, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau offered Monique Bégin a post in his Cabinet, which would make her one of the first female ministers in the country’s history, she turned him down. The offer was for a junior ministry in charge of a newly independent status of women portfolio—a post that nevertheless came with no budget, no staff, and no department, and “made no sense” for advancing women’s status, she recalls. “Trudeau told me I am the only person on earth who refused to be a minister”, she says.

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