Social Studies 11
Women’s Rights Movement
-- We will focus on the “Person’s Case” & The Right to
Vote for Women
Discuss with a partner:
Are women equal in your society?
Have you had (or can you imagine) a female president? If
no, then why not?
Social Studies 11
What is a person? How can we determine if someone
or something is a person or not?
Is this a person?
Is this a person?
Is this a person?
Ms. Wolfe is a person but her
grandmother was not!
The Persons Case: The Famous Five
p 60,
Read and
to your
These women had to fight for their
right to be considered ‘persons’.
Role of women in 1920s
 Principle role of women = wives & mothers
 1921 Federal Election = 5 ran for office, 1 was elected
(Agnes MacPhail) – Every thing she did was heavily
 Limited Career opportunities (nursing, teaching)
 Low pay, low skilled jobs
 1928 = Supreme Court of Canada ruled that “Women
were not ‘persons’ under the Constitution”**
Persons Case of 1929**
 Emily Murphy (well known supported of Women’s
 Appointed a magistrate (officer of state..or..a judge in
 This was Challenged…only a “PERSON” can hold this
position under BNA Act
Women were not “Persons” in eyes of Law (1928 Court
Women becoming a “Person”
 Supreme Court of Alberta ruled…Emily Murphy HAD
THE RIGHT to hold this position! (good thing for
 The movement didn’t stop!....
 Murphy & 4 other women activists (“Famous Five”)
appealed to Britain to make women “persons” under
the law
 October 1929 – British Council says:
 “Exclusion of women is from days much more barbaric
than ours today”
 “Those who ask…WHY should women be included in
the word “persons”….you should ask..WHY NOT?”
 Role of Women worksheet questions due for Tuesday
 Information can be found starting on p.60 in textbook