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A new project to celebrate women who have paved the way for future generations was unveiled today at the Manitoba Legislative Building.

The Trailblazers of the First 100 Years Wall was enacted to honour and celebrate the women who have been elected to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly since legislation passed in 1916 first granted women the right to vote and run for public office in Manitoba.

In the last 100 years, only 51 women have been elected to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly as MLA's, with even fewer women serving as Officers of the Legislative Assembly.

JoAnn McKerlie-Korol, director of education and outreach services of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, says she hopes the wall will represent a number of role models to future generations, as well as celebrate the women who are featured for their hard work in leading the way for female representation in Manitoban politics.

"I'm very humbled and very honoured to be included with such a phenomenal group of trailblazing women," shared Patricia Chaychuk, who has served as the Clerk of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly since 2000. "I hope we can all serve as inspiration for girls and women for the next 100 years."

Myrna Driedger, the current speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, is only the fourth female to hold the title and believes the wall serves as an inspiring display of what women are capable of.

"It hopefully will encourage more women to realize that they have an opportunity to have a career in this [Manitoba Legislative] Building," Driedger said. "We want more women to be elected, we want more women to take on leadership roles, and an exhibit like this hopefully will inspire more women because they can see themselves in all of these photos."

The Trailblazers of the First 100 Years Wall will be on display indefinitely at the Manitoba Legislative Building (450 Broadway) and is now available for public viewing.

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