'Like the Famous Five, we must continue to lobby, campaign and educate others to ensure that Canadian women obtain equity in this country.'
Ottawa (21 Sept. 2009) – The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is urging members to join with Canadians across the country in celebrating Women’s History Month in October.
NUPGE has produced a poster to mark the occasion and invites all who are interested to download and distribute it as widely as possible. To download the poster please click on this image or the link below.
Since 1992, October has been recognized as Women’s History Month in Canada – a time to celebrate the incredible achievements of women. Canadian women have shaped and continue to shape our country with their strength, wisdom and courage.
The Persons Case
The federal government of Canada declared the month of October as Women’s History Month in response to a letter-writing campaign led by a Victoria woman named Lyn Gough. October was also chosen in recognition of the fact that on Oct. 18, 1929, Canadian women were officially declared persons under the law.
The Persons Case is a legal history milestone in Canada. Five Alberta women, known as the Famous Five: Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby, asked the Supreme Court of Canada to declare that women were persons under the law.
The Supreme Court denied the case. The women then appealed to the British Privy Council. The Privy Council described the exclusion of women as “a relic of days more barbarous than ours” and overturned the Canadian decision. On Oct. 18, 1929, Canadian women became persons at last. October 18 has since been celebrated as Persons Day in Canada.
From the involvement of the Famous Five in the Persons Case to female leaders today, women continue to raise our social conscience, give voice to issues of inequality and work to build a future free of discrimination, violence and poverty.
A look back at the last year
As we take time to celebrate and recognize Canadian women’s achievements in the past decades, we should also reflect upon the challenges that women continue to face in Canada.
During the last year, Canadians have suffered through an economic recession. The lack of an early childhood education and child care program, the inequities that exist for women in the Employment Insurance (EI) program and the pay gap between women and men left Canadian women struggling long before the economic recession began.
As governments look for ways to stimulate the economic, they must address the issues facing Canadian women and ensure that they are part of the economic recovery. Governments must invest in social infrastructure which puts money into fields with high female employment and at the same time provides services which support our children, our elderly and our sick.
Like the Famous Five, we must continue to lobby, campaign and educate others to ensure that Canadian women obtain equity in this country.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE