Feminism In Canada

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In Canada, the first wave of feminism began in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was led by middle and upper class women, mostly by wealthy white women. Before this time, women were not seen as people under the law. They were legally barred from homesteading, and were forced to leave the farm if their husbands died. Until 1945, women were also unable to seek divorce, though men could in the case of adultery. In these cases, the divorced women had no right to the children or to their property. Women had to surrender all of their property to their husbands when they got married, and if they married a non-Canadian, they were forced to surrender their citizenship. This movement was not a very inclusive one, and though it did win women the…show more content…
The first province to allow women to vote was Manitoba in 1916. Saskatchewan and Alberta followed later that year. The next year, Ontario and British Columbia granted the women in their provinces the right to vote. However, these were all only provincial votes. Women were still unable to vote federally at this time. In 1918, the Federal Women’s Franchise Act allowed women over twenty-one to vote in federal elections, as long as they were British subjects. The same year, Nova Scotia also gave women the right to vote provincially. In 1920, the Dominion Elections Act allowed women to run for Parliament. This was quite a ground-breaking act. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland granted women the right to vote in the years 1919, 1922, and 1925, respectively. Quebec was the last province to allow women provincial suffrage. Quebecois women were not given the right to vote until 1940. The first wave of feminism was completely revolutionary. It changed everything, it completely shaped the future of Canada. However, the movement never should have needed to happen. Somewhere along the line of history, it was decided that women were to worth as much, that people of color were not worth as much. This movement was the first attempt to right centuries of wrongs. It was a major step forward, and opened the minds of many to be able to take more. The first wave of feminism, the Persons Case, the Famous Five, the women and events all shaped Canadian history in very important

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