Chown, Alice Amelia

Alice Amelia Chown, feminist, suffragist, pacifist, socialist, writer (b at Kingston, Canada West 3 Feb 1866; d at Toronto 2 Mar 1949). She was educated at Queen's University. In 1912 she was a founding member of the Toronto Equal Franchise League. Her journal, The Stairway (1921), includes her views on many reforms: the settlement and co-operative movements, trade unionism, female suffrage, dress reform and sexual freedom. She also wrote about women's rights to higher education, home economics education, urban improvement, universal brotherhood and world peace. Although she later denounced the church and, specifically, the wartime attitudes of her cousin, Samuel Dwight CHOWN, her unwavering belief in pacifism stemmed from her Methodist background.

In 1930 she founded the Women's League of Nations Association, which was to provide innovative programs for peace education such as popular dramatic sketches written by Chown. Her life was concerned with changing those institutions and customs which she saw as suppressing the innate goodness of the (particularly female) individual.