Women S Rights In Canada Essay

Submitted By DanimalCracker
Words: 1295
Pages: 6

Dan Nicolau
Mr. Gross
CHC 2D6­01
11 May 2015
Women’s Rights in Canada from 1914 to Present Times Historically, women have been considered an inferior sex to men. Since World War One, changes have been made in regard to how women are viewed in the law and as a result of these changes women’s rights have reached a point where women are eligible for the same roles as men are. The Dower Act gave women real estate rights that meant their residence could not be taken advantage of. Following the acceptance of the Dower Act into the Albertan legislature, women argued that they were people and deserved to be viewed as such in the law. In Ontario, the Equal pay Act was passed making sure that both women and men got “equal pay for work of equal value”. 1 Finally, Kim Campbell was elected Prime Minister in 1933 showing that women and men are now regarded the same in the law. The Dower Act is an Albertan legislation preventing the disposal of a household owned by a married person from their spouse. Emily Murphy campaigned for the Dower Act to be passed after she met a woman living on the streets with her children who had been left by her husband when he sold the family’s land. Murphy found that there was “no legal recourse” for the woman so she appealed to the Members of the Legislative Assembly for several years until the Dower
Act was passed in 1917. This was very important to women who did not have their own source of income, which was very common before 1917. The reason for this is that if a woman’s spouse were to sell their residence and abandon their family, the woman would have great difficulty
1

Equal Pay Coalition,. 2011. 'Federal'. http://www.equalpaycoalition.org/history/federal/.

caring for any children as she would be unemployed, and homeless. The Dower Act became a standard across the nation 2 and sparked national change in relation to women’s rights. Up until 1929 women were not considered persons in the British North America Act. In section
24 of the British North America Act, it is said that only “ ‘qualified persons’ could be appointed to senate”. 3 Qualified persons meant men, which showed a clear legal inequality between the sexes. Emily Murphy and 4 other suffragists, known as the famous five, petitioned to the
Supreme Court of Canada. Unfortunately for women all around Canada, women were not deemed to be ‘qualified persons’. Mary Ellen Smith, a suffragist from British Columbia said

The iron dropped into the souls of women in Canada when we heard that it took a man to decree that his mother was not a person” 4 which shows the extent of how much it mattered to
Canadians for women to be considered persons under the law. It directly affected Canadian women, who made up about half of the population of Canada, because the fact that they weren’t persons meant they had a narrower career path. Though the supreme court of Canada denied that women were persons, there was a higher power known as the British Privy Council. The Privy
Council stated that women are indeed persons. 5 This was a milestone in women gaining equality to men as they were both regarded as persons and could both be appointed to the Canadian
Senate; only persons can be appointed to the Canadian Senate. Women were becoming closer to

2

Northwood,. 2014. 'Have You Ever Heard Of The Dower Act? | Northwood Mortgage'.
Northwood Mortgage
.
http://www.northwoodmortgage.com/mortage­questions/dower­act­mean­homeowners/.

3

Famous5.ca,. 2015. 'The Famous 5 Foundation'. http://www.famous5.ca/index.php/the­famous­5­women/the­persons­case/.

4

Famous5.ca,. 2015. 'The Famous 5 Foundation'. http://www.famous5.ca/index.php/the­famous­5­women/the­persons­case/.

5

Library.usask.ca,. 2015. 'Law: The "Persons" Case'. http://library.usask.ca/herstory/person.html.

being considered the same as men in the law.
After 1929, when women were deemed persons, the door was open for women to lobby for further…