In it used the word “he.” So,

In the past and throughout the years women have struggled and continue to struggle with being viewed as equal to men and sharing equal rights with them. As time has gone by many influential and powerful women have fought for equal rights for women and  taken part in events that have opened up many opportunities that wouldn’t be available for women today if not for these events occurring. The persons case, first female senator, employment act, and first female prime minister all lead up to the changes in gender roles we see today and more equality for women.

The persons case and “the famous five” were one of the biggest leading causes in changes in gender roles and equality for women. women were not alway legally recognized as “persons”, The “Famous 5” (Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Nellie McClung) who protested the legal meaning of the word “person” to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1927. The Canadian Court stated that the term “person” did not apply to women, the Act used the word “persons” in the plural sense but when it referred to an individual person, it used the word “he.” So, it came to pass that in 1928, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women were not “persons” according to the British North America Act and therefore were ineligible to be appointed as Senate. However, the women appealed to the Privy Council of England, which in 1929 reversed the Court’s decision by stipulating that the term “person” should apply to both men and women. Therefore opening new opportunities for women as finally being recognized as “persons” they could now be eligible to be appointed as senate and many other new working fields that weren’t an option for them previous to the persons case. Following the Persons case it opened new job opportunities for women and more and women started to take those new opportunities they were given.

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Cairine Reay Mackay Wilson had the honour of being appointed Canada’s first woman Senator. She was named to the position by her friend Prime Minister Mackenzie King four months after the ruling in the Person’s Case determined that Canadian women were persons and therefore eligible to sit in the Senate. Cairine Wilson became active in a variety of organizations, including the Ottawa Women’s Liberal Club. She was one of the founders of the organization and served as president for three years. She served in the Senate until her death in 1962, gaining recognition for her dedication to causes such as supporting refugees and the League of Nations. Cairine Wilson became the first female president of the League of Nations Society in Canada.

In 1949 Senator Wilson also became the first Canadian woman to be a delegate to the UN General Assembly. This event marking history in developing rights for women also showed women that fighting for your rights and working hard for what you believe in paid off because only four months after the persons case the first female senator was appointed and if not tpfor the “famous 5” this would not have been possible.The next big step in equality for women was birth control becoming legal in Canada. Elizabeth Bagshaw, one of Canada’s first female doctors, fought that women should have the right to prevent pregnancy. She established Canada’s first family planning clinic in Hamilton, Ontario in 1932, with the knowledge that it was illegal to do so and despite the criticism and backlash she gained from doing so. Under the 1892 Criminal Code, birth control was “tending to corrupt morals.” Unless an accused person could prove that its advocacy had been “for the public good,” he or she was liable to serve a 2-year jail sentence.

The same legislation also decriminalized some abortions under extremely restricted conditions. After years of effort, the section of the Criminal Code making it illegal to advertise or sell birth control was finally removed in 1969. Removing the law against contraception gave all Canadians the right to prevent pregnancy (and to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections) without being criminalized for the action of protecting them self. The act of decriminalizing birth control was a huge and significant event that brought justice to women who struggled with either not being ready or not wanting children but had to worry about breaking the law if wanting to engage in intercourse without doing so. Lastly, Kim Campbell was one of the most recent women to contribute in the development of women’s rights throughout the years. Kim Campbell was first elected to the House of Commons in November 1988 as a Conservative. She served as minister of state for Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1989. As minister of Justice and Attorney General from 1990 to 1992, she introduced reform legislation on a number of issues, including abortion.

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney moved her to National Defence in January 1993 and the following month announced his own retirement. Campbell entered the leadership race as a heavy favourite to win the Tory leadership. Despite a strong challenge from Jean Charest, she managed to win on the second ballot. She took office officially, as the first female prime minister in Canadian history, on June 25, 1993. By Kim Campbell becoming the first female prime minister in Canada it shows women everywhere that the long strive for equality with women was finally paying off and by introducing the first female prime minister it also showed women their opportunities are no longer limited due to inequality and they could do anything a man could.In conclusion without the “Famous 5” (Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Nellie McClung), Cairine Reay Mackay, Elizabeth Bagshaw and Kim Campbell strived for equality amongst women and men and took part in many huge historical events that if not to have happened, women may not have have the same opportunities they have and are given today.



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