The Famous Five Analysis

1537 Words7 Pages
The Famous Five by Margaret Blair 01/10/2018

October 18th 1929 is a date that went down in Canadian history because it was on that day that women were finally declared “persons” under Canadian law. Before this big step towards equality of the sexes Canada was governed by The British North America Act or the BNA which did not recognize women as a person. At the time “persons” referred to either more than one person as in a group of people or “he” when used to describe one person. Therefore what this meant for women was that you couldn’t become a judge or part of the senate because those members who didn’t want women in the courthouse could simply state that a women isn’t a person by law and therefore not eligible for such positions. This of course meant that women did not have any real power or control over laws which governed their lives.

So how and why did the legal system change in Canada?
Well it started with five women.

The most successful teams generally have a leader or captain and in the case of Alberta’s Famous Five, that was Emily Murphy. Emily Murphy (nee Ferguson) was born in Cookstown, Ontario in 1868. Her father was a wealthy businessperson and owned quite a bit of land so Emily was educated at a private school in Ontario. Some
…show more content…
Four females including Emily herself signed the petition and those women are now known as The Famous Five. March 14th 1928 the five women and their lawyer, Honourable Newton Wesley Rowell presented their case to the Supreme Court of Canada. Their lawyer asked the court this question “Does the word ‘Persons’ in Section 24 of the British North American Act of 1867 include female persons?”. Sadly, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that women were still not persons. Thankfully, these women were not put off by the verdict; it only fuelled their determination
Open Document