Monique Bégin (March 1, 1936-)was born in Rome, and raised in France and Portugal. At the end of World War II, she and her family immigrated to Canada. She attended the Université de Montréal, getting her MA in Sociology. She later got her doctorate from Paris' La Sorbonne.

From 1967 to 1970, Monique Bégin was Executive Secretary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, creating a charter to legally put women's rights to education, employment, and political voice on par with those of men. In 1972, she was the first woman from Québec elected to the House of Commons. From 1975 to 1976, she served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and from 1976 to 1977 was the Minister of National Revenue. From 1977 to 1984, under the Liberal federal government, she was Minister of National Health and Welfare. In Septrember of 1984, she left public life. Politically, Monique Bégin is most recognized for the 1984 Canada Health Act, which defined the five principles of Canadian health care: portability, universality, comprehensiveness, public administration, and accessibility.

In 1986, she was the first person to hold Joint Chair in Women's Studies at both the University of Ottawa, and Carleton University. From 1990 to 1997, she was the University of Ottawa's Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and is now Professor Emeritus, visiting in the Master of Health Administration programme.

Thus far, Monique Bégin has participated in several royal commissions, and in the 1993 to 1996 International Independent Commission on Population and Quality of Life. In 1996, Monique Bégin was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 1998, was made an Officer of The Order of Canada. She holds 12 honorary doctorates.

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