Gabrielle, Queen's Square | September 24, 2020
"Have we not the brains to think? Hands to work? Hearts to feel? And lives to live? Give us our due!" - Nellie McClung
Nellie’s famous words along with the efforts of her suffragette sisters in the Famous Five - Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Henrietta Muir Edwards led to the decision in 1929 by Canada’s highest court that women be included in the legal definition of “persons”. It was a key moment in time that cleared the way for women to serve in the Senate of Canada and to have a greater role in Canadian politics. Each year on October 18th, we celebrate the anniversary of the decision as Persons Day. Previous to this date, women had earned a modest number of other victories such as white and black women earning the right to vote and the right to sit in the House of Commons. Sadly, these rights were not offered to all Canadian women until much later. Asian women would not see voting rights rights until 1948, Inuit women in 1950, and Indigenous women finally earned voting rights (without losing their Treaty rights) in 1960.
Nellie’s words ring just as true today as people across the country (and the world) continue the fight for equality, especially those from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) communities. Join us this October as we celebrate Person’s Day and continue to advocate for all the vibrant, vital contributions that women, two-spirit, and female identifying people bring to our communities with our Celebration of Women events:
- Women In Song celebrates the musical talent in our community with an online concert on Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00pm. Simply tune into our Facebook Page to watch. You do not have to have a Facebook account to participate.
- Join Erin Moraghan for Rise to Thrive on Thursday, October 15 at 7:00pm. In this seminar you’ll learn how to use the power of habit and mindset to fail with grace and come back stronger.
- Alka Joshi talks about her book The Henna Artist on Sunday, October 18 at 7:00pm.
Idea Exchange would like to thank the City of Cambridge for their generous support of our Celebration of Women series and Councilor Reid who continues to advocate for equality for all.
Want to learn more? Check out these resources from our Collection:
- Champions of Women’s Right: leading Canadian Women and their battles for social justice
- Highway of Tears: a true story of racism, indifference and the pursuit of justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls
- Policing Black Lives: state violence in Canada from slavery to the present
- What is the Women’s Rights Movement?
- Created Equal: Voices on Women’s Rights