Muriel Helen Duckworth née Ball, CM, ONS (October 31, 1908 – August 22, 2009) was a Canadian pacifist, feminist and social and community activist. She was a practising Quaker, a religious denomination committed to non-violence. Duckworth maintained that war with its systematic violence against women and children is a major obstacle to social justice. She argued that money spent on armaments perpetuates poverty while reinforcing the power of privileged elites. She believed that "war is stupid" and she steadfastly refused to accept popular distinctions between "good" and "bad" wars.
Duckworth was a founding member of the Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace, a provincial branch of the national peace organization called the Voice of Women (VOW). From 1967 to 1971, she served as president of VOW leading protests against the Canadian government's quiet support for the U.S.-led War in Vietnam.
Duckworth was the first woman in Halifax to run for a seat in the Nova Scotia legislature. She also led community organizing efforts seeking improvements in education, housing, social assistance and municipal planning. In her later years, Duckworth performed with the Halifax chapter of the Raging Grannies, a group that composes and sings satirical ballads promoting social justice.
Duckworth received many honours and awards including the 1981 Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case and the Order of Canada in 1983. In 1991, she received the Pearson Medal of Peace. She was also granted 10 honorary university degrees.
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... Duckworth fell and broke her leg in August 2009 while at her Quebec cottage ... As she received palliative care, Duckworth reportedly told visitors, "I'm going to leave you now ... critical and still remain a respected member of that society." Muriel Duckworth died on August 22, 2009 aged 100 ...