Working Women’s Protective Association 1864-1949
Marie Joussaye was born in Belleville, Ontario, leaving school at age eleven to work as a domestic servant. By the end of the 1880s, she was living in Toronto, working as a journalist. Jousaye spent years contributing poetry to labour newspapers and in 1893 organized domestic servants into the Working Women’s Protective Association, of which she was president. That same year, she also campaigned vigorously for Sunday street cars through a series of newspaper articles. By 1895, she published a book of poetry that included the moving poem, “Only a Working Girl.” Jousaye would eventually move to British Columbia and then the Yukon, where she spent the rest of her life.