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Women's rights

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Women's rights

  1. 1. Women’s Rights The suffrage movement By 1901 universal (white) male suffrage existed in most of the industrialized western countries. In Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand all (white) males over the age of majority could vote.
  2. 2. Women’s Suffrage Alberta Provincial Women’s Christian Temperance Union convention, Olds, Alberta 1913
  3. 3. The Woman’s movement pre 1900 • 1874 The Women’s Christian Temperance Union: Formed originally to promote the prohibition of alcohol later joined forces with the Canadian Suffrage Association • 1893 National Council of Women of Canada: Focused on the needs of women and children • 1897 Adelaide Hunter-Hoodless started the first Woman’s institute promoting social reform and better education for women
  4. 4. The affect of WWI on Women’s rights • 1917: The Military voters Act took the vote away from conscientious objectors and allowed all men and women in the armed forces to vote in any riding they chose • This was followed by the Wartime Elections Act which gave the vote to the widows, wives, mothers and adult daughters and sisters of Canadian men serving overseas.
  5. 5. Women’s Rights • January 26, 1916 Nellie Mc Clung, Francis Beynon, Lillian Thomas along with many other women won the right to vote in Manitoba • Saskatchewan followed two months later • Alberta in April • BC in 1917 • Ontario 1917 • On May 24, 1918 all female citizens over the age of 21 received the right to vote in federal elections.
  6. 6. Beyond WWI • The following year, the women's suffrage movement made great advances and women became eligible for election to the House of Commons. In 1921, Agnes Macphail became the first woman to be elected to the House.
  7. 7. Women working during WW1, while their husbands fought overseas.
  8. 8. Persons Under the Law • The decision of the Person’s Case: Under British common law the status of women is this… “Women are persons in matters of pains and penalties, but are not persons in matters of rights and privileges.” • Discouraged but not defeated Emily Murphy, the female magistrate that started the fight and the “Famous Five” (Nellie McClung, Louise Mc Kinney, Henrietta Edwards and Irene Parlby) decided to appeal the decision to the Privy Council in London. • In October 1929, the Privy Council in London (the highest court of appeal in Canada at that time) reversed the decision of Canada’s Supreme court by declaring that “the word persons includes members of the male and female sex… and that women are eligible to be summoned and become members of the Senate of Canada.”
  9. 9. Post WWII • During the war, women had filled the demand for labour taking on a new role. • Women became much more present in the labour world after the war, but mostly in limited space (clerical, nursing, banking, textiles, light industries, etc.) and usually only for single women. Women were still expected to stay home and take care of children and were often barred because they were married. • Equal pay was a constant struggle
  10. 10. Women machinists at the Ford Motor Company plant in Dagenham took strike action on 7 June 1968 for equal pay. The women won a pay increase to 92% of men's wages. Credit: Pat Mantle TUC Collection, London Metropolitan University
  11. 11. Changes for the Status of Women • Women were ready for liberation. Feminism, became an important movement. • A dependable birth control pill, introduced in the early 1960’s made it possible for women to delay or avoid having children. This in turn made it possible for more women to compete with men in the business world. • Women’s groups campaigned for equal rights, equal opportunities in the job market and an end to discrimination based on sex. • Prime Minister Pearson set up of Royal Commission on the status of women, that was actually led by a woman, the first federal commission ever to be chaired by a woman.
  12. 12. Reproductive Rights • Abortion was illegal in Canada until 1969 • Between 1969 and 1988 abortions were only performed under very restrictive circumstances and remained a part of the criminal code • The abortion issue was taken to the Supreme Court of Canada by Henry Morgantaler, a doctor who wanted to establish abortion clinics. • In the R. v. Morgantaler case in 1988, Canada's abortion law was struck down by the Supreme Court using the right to life, liberty and security of the person section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  13. 13. Time Line: The Road to political rights for Women in Canada 1916 Women win the right to vote and hold political office in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta 1917 Nurses serving in WWI and wives, widows, mothers, sisters and daughters of soldiers extended the right to vote. Women win the right to vote in BC and Ontario 1918 Women who are over 21 and are British subjects win the right to vote in Nova Scotia and federal elections 1920 Dominion Elections Act allows women to run for election to parliament 1921 Agnes Macphail elected first female MP 1922 Women get the right to vote in PEI 1925 Women get the right to vote in Newfoundland 1928 Supreme Court of Canada rules unanimously that women are not persons under the BNA act. 1929 British Privy Council overturns Supreme Court ruling and recognizes women to be persons under the law 1930 Carnie Wilson first woman appointed to the Senate 1940 women over 21 get the right to vote in Québec 1960 the Aboriginal peoples of Canada gain the right to vote in Federal Elections. 1970 Royal Commission on the Status of Women
  14. 14. • Changing definition of “Feminism” • Emma Watson addresses the UN

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