Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Women's Rights - Suffrage

Women have had to fight long and hard for their rights. It has been only since 1927 that women have had the right to vote in Canada. Sylvia, from over the hill, wrote a blog post about 1909.

I post the photos I have of the Famous Five statues.

These are photos of the Ottawa sculptures of the Famous Five, see the Famous Five site for more information on women in Canada lobbying for the right to vote. How amazing in our country that women had to fight to get the right to vote. They fought to have women considered persons under the Constitution.

These women, in 1927, ensured that Canadian women had equality. These statues exist to commemorate women who fought for all of us. You can read more about them in Archive Canada. The 5 bronze statues are larger than life size.

The women who fought the male-dominated parliament that thought women too fragile or too ignorant to vote. For those interested in this, I suggested you research further. The battle started in 1916. From Emily Murphy's very first day as a judge, lawyers had challenged her rulings because she was not a "person" under Canadian law.What I did not know is that Quebec did not give women the right to vote until 1940, many years after.

June 11, 1938
On this day, in 1929, women are finally declared "persons" under Canadian law. The historic legal victory is due to the persistence of five Alberta women — Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards.

AND STILL WE ROAR. Despite Nellie McClung, and her group's efforts to rise to give a political voice to women, we still fight. The glass ceiling remains. Women juggle family, work and poverty.
Housing issues in Muskoka persist. We just passed National Housing Day - Nov. 22, 2009:
  • Adequate, affordable and accessible housing is a safety issue… it is part of protecting women from the cycle of violence. (YWCA 2009) 
  • In the 12 months between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008 – 101, 000 women and children – entered shelters in Canada – 75% were fleeing abuse. 
  • Homeless women shelter in abandoned vehicles, frigid alleys, with a one in five chance of being sexually assaulted. (Sistering, 2008)

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