General · 29th February 2016
A Brief Timeline of Women’s Rights in Canada
1915: Thanks to HELENA GUTTERIDGE, "EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN” was written into Vancouver Trades Council Constitution. In 2016, Women STILL paid up to 25% less than men.
1918: After MANY YEARS OF STRUGGLE, Canadian women FINALLY obtained the RIGHT TO VOTE in federal elections. BUT, NOT NATIVE WOMEN. THEY DID NOT OBTAIN THE RIGHT TO VOTE UNTIL 1960!!
1927: The SUPREME COURT OF CANADA ruled WOMEN are NOT PERSONS under law!
1929: “THE FAMOUS 5” a group of women from Alberta appealed the Persons Case in England & WON. Women are, FOR THE FIRST TIME, legally declared "PERSONS!”
1932: Ottawa NURSE, Dorothea Palmer, was ARRESTED for TELLING WOMEN ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL! NOT UNTIL 1969 was DISTRIBUITION OF BIRTH CONTROL INFO DE-CRIMINALIZED.
1951: Charlotte Whitton became Canada's FIRST FEMALE MAYOR (Ottawa/14 years!)
1970: Women organized cross-country "Abortion Caravan" demanding services under medicare.
1974: RCMP hired FIRST woman member.
1978: A Banner Year for Women’s Rights! The FIRST "TAKE BACK THE NIGHT" MARCH was held in Vancouver. Female flight attendants won the right to CONTINUE WORKING AFTER MARRIAGE & PAST THE RIPE OLD AGE OF ... WAIT FOR IT... 32!
And... the law changed so that women could NO LONGER BE FIRED DUE to PREGNANCY. 1981: WOMENS’ RIGHTS WERE STILL EXCLUDED from the proposed new Charter of Rights. THOUSANDS OF WOMEN LOBBIED MPS TO WIN THIS MOST BASIC RIGHT!
1982: NDP MP Margaret Mitchell was LITERALLY LAUGHED AT by male MPs in House of Commons when she demanded government take action to STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. The IMMEDIATE OUTCRY from women brought NATIONAL ATTENTION to this LONG-IGNORED ISSUE. Bertha Wilson becomes first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
1983: POLICE allowed to make charges in DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES. Before this, men usually faced NO CONSEQUENCES for beating their female partners. The Canadian Human Rights Act PROHIBITED SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN WORKPLACES!
1998: WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAMS were FIRST allowed to compete in the Winter Olympics in Nagano. Since 2002, EIGHT WOMEN’S TEAMS have competed in women’s' hockey at the Olympic Games & CANADA HAS CLAIMED FOUR CONSECUTIVE GOLD MEDALS SINCE THEN.
2015-2016: First GENDER PARITY cabinet in history! Jody Wilson-Raybould becomes 1st First Nations woman to become Canada's Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada. Justice Minister. Melanie Mark becomes 1st First Nations woman MLA in BC.