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The Persons Case: A Milestone For Canadian Women

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The Person’s case focused on the inequality women faced. In the year 1916, the first female judge Emily Murphy to stand as a judge in the British Empire and she was chosen to an Alberta court. In the courtroom, a lawyer imposed her rights to be the judge because she was a feminist and he also said that women’s are not counted as ‘Persons” in the eyes of the law. Emily Murphy was backed by the court as it stated that women have every right to stand as a judge. This argument was not settled again, as this topic rose again and many women groups asked the PM to appoint one of the women to the Chamber. The British North America act declared that only experienced “persons” can receive the appointments. This was a social act because this case related to the society of women in the 1920s and 30s, it helped embrace the inner potential of women in the society. Canadians wanted this BNA act to change and wanted to give a new definition to the term ‘persons’. Canada had the whole involvement in this case because Emily Murphy from Canada came into the spotlight when she got appointed to be the first female judge of the Supreme Court. She was a citizen of Canada where she characterized many Canadian women who wanted equal rights as men.

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‘The Famous five’ represented five feminist – Emily murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlay, Henrietta Edwards and Louis McKinney from Canada. These women fought for all the women to be legally considered as ‘persons’. These ‘famous five’ went to Britain’s judicial committee where they debated. These feminist also did many campaigns, speeches, marches and advertisements to make everyone understand that women are equally important to men. At the end the judicial committee declared ‘not persons’ under the law of the court of Canada and then on October 29,1929 they were officially declared as the ‘persons’ by the British court and from now on every woman will have equal rights as a man in Canada. These famous five saw a social change in the society as women had equal rights as men in every aspect of their lives. Women were appointed to the same jobs as men did, they were accepted in the government and they were independent in every aspect. Every woman involved in the group ‘The Famous Five’ were Canadians and they took fearless steps to make all women equal to men. Canadians were involved in this movement because this case was under Britain Judiciary and at that point of time they were very closely fixed with Britain. After this case and this act by ‘The famous Five’ women were legally considered as equal to men and as ‘Persons’. This act made by these amazing Canadian women made it easier for women to be as equal as everyone else.

Agnes McPhail was born on March 24, 1980 in Proton Township, Grey Country, and Ontario. Her parents were farmers; she graduated from the Owen Sound Collegiate Institute in Ontario. After her graduation, she worked as a teacher in the rural areas for almost a decade. After that she joined politics and attended meeting of the United Farm Women of Ontario. During that period women were not allowed to work once they were married, so to continue her career in politics she never ended up marrying. She was the first woman who was elected to the Canadian House of Commons. She was very desirous about the equality between men and women as she has faced inequality throughout her career, but she soon got the spot in the House of Commons and broke the barriers of equality of women. Agnes also enrolled women to be politically equal, she made farm co-operatives and low income workers to have an equal political career as others.

There were five women who ran for the parliament election in 1921 and only one was elected – Agnes McPhail. She was the only woman who sat in the parliament opposite to men. For the Agnes McPhail fought very hard for the equality of women. Not only that she was the first woman from Canada to fight for women’s rights but she also fought for Worker’s right, Prison reforming, Seniors Pension, Gender equity and Making Great Headway.

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