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Federation of Women's Institutes

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In Winnipeg, in 1919, the Federation of Women's Institutes was formed as an umbrella organization to unite a variety of women's societies into a larger and stronger unit. With an initial membership numbering 100,000, the organization was a force to be reckoned with. It is hardly surprising then, that prominent figures such as Emily Murphy and Nellie McClung stepped up to act as the Federation's President and Convenor of the Publicity Committee, respectively.

The Federation's three main goals were to coordinate and bring into communication the various provincial women's organizations throughout the Dominion, with the object of promoting educational, moral, social and civic measures; to be a central agency both for institutional activities, and for the collection and distribution of information; to draft and encourage nation-wide campaigns, such as homemaking, child welfare, educational and other community efforts intended to benefit all people.

As part of her work with the Federation, Emily Murphy campaigned to establish community centres in rural districts. As a result of these efforts, thousands of Women's Institute rest rooms, community halls, parks, and playgrounds were created. The goal of these centres was to promote non-partisan and non-sectarian community activity, where both foreign and Canadian-born people were to meet on an equal footing.

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