Women during the 1920's (the persons case)

Women during the 1920's (the persons case)
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  • in 1867 when the BNA Act was written, women did not vote, run for office, nor serve as elected officials; only male nouns and pronouns were used in the BNA Act
  • Can I go vote too 
  • stay at home and wash the dishes you cannot vote!
  • When Alberta social activist Emily Murphy was appointed in 1916 as the first woman police magistrate in Alberta, her appointment was challenged on the grounds that women were not persons under the BNA Act
  • In 1917, the Alberta Supreme Court ruled that women were persons. This only applied in the province of Alberta however, so Murphy let her name put forward as a candidate for the Senate, at the federal level of government. Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden turned her down because she was not considered a person under the BNA Act.
  • By 1927, Murphy decided to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada for clarification. She and four other prominent Alberta women's rights activists, now known as the Famous Five, signed a petition to the Senate.
  • NO, WOMAN CANNOT CHANGE THE TRADITION THEY SHOULLD NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE, RUN FOR OFFICE OR SERVE AS ELECTED OFFICIALS 
  • On April 24, 1928, the Supreme Court of Canada answered, "No." The court said that when the BNA Act was written, women did not vote, run for office, nor serve as elected officials and since the British House of Lords did not have a woman member, Canada should not change the tradition of its Senate.
  • With the help of Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, the Famous Five appealed the Supreme Court of Canada decision to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England, the highest court of appeal for Canada.On October 18, 1929, Lord Chancellor of the Privy Council, announced the decision that yes, women are persons and eligible to be summoned and may become Members of the Senate of Canada.
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