Today marks International Women’s Day. It is a day set aside on a global scale to celebrate the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women around the world.
Shaping the Law in Canada
The law in Canada is no exception to the achievements of women. Human rights in particular have been shaped in large part by the efforts of women seeking equality in all facets of their lives. Here are but a few examples:
- One of the first steps towards equality for women occurred over a century ago. In 1884, married women were given the right to enter into legal agreements and purchase property.
- Women fought tirelessly to obtain the right to vote and change began to happen in 1916. In that year, women were given the right to vote in some provincial elections. By 1918, all Caucasian women could vote in federal elections. It wasn’t until 1951 when women could vote in all provincial elections. A further 9 years would pass before all Canadians were finally granted the right to vote in federal elections.
- Women fought for the right to be considered ‘persons’ under the law, a right which was granted by the Privy Council in 1929. This came about after the Supreme Court had decided the year prior that ‘persons’ did not include women.
- The 1950s saw the implementation of various laws at the provincial and federal levels to bring about equality in Canada’s workforce.
The theme of this year’s celebration theme is ‘Be Bold for Change’. The aim is to encourage individuals to become leaders in their own lives and take bold yet practical actions to bring us closer to equality. Click here for some inspiration of bold actions you can take in your community.
Celebrate in a City Near You!
Thousands of events are held in cities across the globe to mark International Women’s Day. Click here to find an event near you.
According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap will not entirely close until 2186. Although this prediction is somewhat discouraging, we are hopeful that women’s everyday efforts will make great strides to closing the gender gap much sooner.
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