International Women's Day: Chilliwack: March 2011



Dr. Jean Scott shows off her Persons Case award
medal at 2010 UFV International Women's Day tea.
    Coffee and cookies on International Women's Day 2011 

Dr. Jean Scott joined UFV library in celebrating International Women's Day with coffee and goodies on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 in the student lounge just outside the Chilliwack campus library. 

As a local author, women’s rights activist (who for years has organized International Women's Day celebrations and memorials for the women killed in the Montreal Massacre), labour negotiator, early member of Chilliwack’s transition house, UFV honourary degree recipient and Governor General’s Persons Case award winner, Jean Scott embodies local women's movement history. Now in her 99th year, Dr. Scott is still fighting for women's rights.

“All women have a celestial light inside them,” Jean Scott told a group of about a dozen or more women who settled in for a chat in the UFV Chilliwack student lounge on International Women's Day 2011.
 
Dr. Scott passed around her Person’s Case medal, telling everyone to hold it and “give it a rub.” She spoke about what she would still like to accomplish for women in this community, especially that she would like to start a women’s centre. She shared memories about her life, her son, her involvement in the labour movement, and her book: ”Brown sugar and a bone in the throat: Jean’s life.”
       

 

Jean Scott shares a laugh at International Women's Day tea 2011.

 

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Jean Scott's Persons Case medal.
Mandy Klepic, Faculty and Staff Association Status of Women
Representative and Student Services Educational Advisor,
Barbara Salingre, Teacher Education Educational Advisor,
and Shirley Hardman, Senior Advisor on Indigenous Affairs,
examine Jean Scott's Persons Case Medal.
       ‌
         
     
Dr. Jean Scott and Maureen Evered at International Women's Day tea.       Students enjoy coffee and treats.
         


History of the Women's Movement: The Persons Case:

Women were not legally persons in Canada before 1929. That's when the "Famous Five:" Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby challenged the establishment, fighting for women to be recognized as "persons" under the British North America Act. Once denied legitimacy by the Canadian government but now imortalized in sculpture on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, in 1929 the five ultimately took their fight to the Privy Council in England. They won, changing history and making it possible for women to be considered "persons" in Canada and to be appointed to the Canadian senate.


Henrietta Muir Edwards

     

Feminist and founder of women's organizations, Henrietta Muir Edwards, along with Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, and Louise McKinney, was one of the Famous Five, who fought for women's recognition as persons in Canada.

Muir Edwards and her sister Amelia founded the Working Girls Association--the forerunner to the YWCA--and the magazine: "Working Women of Canada." With Lady Aberdeen, Muir Edwards founded the National Council of Women and the Victorian Order of Nurses to work for better maternal health care for women and children.

From Library and Archives Canada: Celebrating Women's Achievements: and

Sharpe, Robert J, and Patricia I. McMahon. The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood. Toronto: Published for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, 2007. Print.

 
       
 


Irene Parlby

      Feminist and politician Irene Parlby, along with Nellie McClungEmily MurphyLouise McKinney, and Henrietta Muir Edwards was one of the Famous Five, who fought for women's rights in Canada.

Elected to the Alberta legislature in 1921, also the first female provincial cabinet minister in Canada, Parlby worked to improve women and children's health and education. In 1935 Parlby became the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta.

From Library and Archives Canada: Celebrating Women's Achievements: and

Sharpe, Robert J, and Patricia I. McMahon. The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood. Toronto: Published for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, 2007. Print.
 
       
 


Emily Murphy

     

Feminist, writer and judge Emily Murphy, along with Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, and Henrietta Muir Edwards was one of the Famous Five, who fought for women's rights in Canada.

Murphy unsuccesfully petitioned three Canadian Prime Ministers to include women as persons under the law before taking the case to the Supreme Court of Canada, where she lost again. The Famous Five then appealed to the Privy Council in England, winning the right to be "persons" under the law. Murphy tried unsucessfully to win appointment to the senate but her work cleared the way for other women.

From Library and Archives Canada: Celebrating Women's Achievements: and

Sharpe, Robert J, and Patricia I. McMahon. The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood. Toronto: Published for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, 2007. Print.

 
       
 


Nellie McClung

      Feminist, writer and politician Nellie McClung, along with Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, and Henrietta Muir Edwards was one of the Famous Five, who fought for women's rights in Canada.

As well as her involvement in The Person's Case, McClung promoted a minimum wage and decent working conditions for women factory workers and fought successfully for the vote for women in Alberta.

From Library and Archives Canada: Celebrating Women's Achievements: and

Sharpe, Robert J, and Patricia I. McMahon. The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood. Toronto: Published for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, 2007. Print.
 
       
 


Louise McKinney

      Feminist and politician Louise McKinney, along with Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, and Henrietta Muir Edwards was one of the Famous Five, who fought for women's rights in Canada.

In 1917 McKinney was one of the first two women elected to the provincial legislature in Alberta, to a Canadian legislature and a legislature in the British Empire. As a law maker, McKinney fought for married women's property rights.

From Library and Archives Canada: Celebrating Women's Achievements: and

Sharpe, Robert J, and Patricia I. McMahon. The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood. Toronto: Published for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, 2007. Print.
 


The Persons Case Award:

In 1979, on the 50th anniversary of the Persons Case, the Government of Canada, represented by the Governor General, awarded the first Persons Case medals. Recipients in 1979 were:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Bagshaw from Hamilton, Ontario. One of the first women physicians, Dr. Bagshaw dispensed birth control advice.
  • The Honourable Therese Casgrain from Montreal, Quebec. Senator Casgrain was the founder of the Quebec League for Human Rights and the Fédération des Femmes du Québec.
  • Shophia Dixon from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Ms. Dixon was President of the United Farm Women and Saskatoon's first Farmers Union.
  • Mary Two-Axe Early from Caughnawaga, Quebec. Ms. Two-Axe Early was the founder of Indian Rights for Indian Women.
  • Dr. Grace MacInnis from Vancouver, British Columbia was the Member of Parliament for Vancouver-Kingsway, a position from which she fought for women's rights.
  • Marion Royce from Toronto, Ontario. Ms. Royce was a member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the first director of the Women's Bureau of the federal Department of Labour.
  • Eileen Tallman-Sufrin from White Rock, British Columbia. Labour organizer.

From Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case 1979 Recipients: . For Persons Case winners in other years see here. Jean Scott won in 1990.

The Royal Commission on the Status of Women:

Recognized in retrospect for highlighting women's inequality and for sparking the creation of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, The Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada was the government response to social justice protests from women's groups. The Commission made 167 recommendations on pay equity, family issues, birth control, The Indian Act and pensions and more. Many of these recommendations have been implemented but some have not. Commission chairperson journalist Florence Bird was a Persons Case award winner and later a Canadian senator.

From The Canadian Encyclopedia: Women's Movement.

Women's Movement: Bread and Roses:

The women's movement is credited with legal access to abortions, the entrenchment of sexual equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, increasing women's rights in family law, pay equity and awareness of other social justice issues.

From The Canadian Encyclopedia: Women's Movement.

Library Resources:

Adams, Katherine H. Alice Paul and the American suffrage campaign. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2008. Call number: HQ 1413 P38 A23 2008 (Abbotsford)

Barber, Terry. The Famous Five. [Edmonton] : Grass Roots Press, c2006. Call number: GV 7 B27 2006 (Abbotsford)

Campo, Natasha. From superwomen to domestic goddesses : the rise and fall of feminism. Bern ; New York : Lang, c2009. Call number: HQ 1154 C286 2009 (Abbotsford)

Dobrowolsky, Alexandra Z. The politics of pragmatism : women, representation, and constitutionalism in Canada. Don Mills, Ont. : Oxford University Press, c2000. Call number: HQ 1236.5 C3 D62 2000 (Abbotsford)

Giardina, Carol. Freedom for women : forging the Women's Liberation Movement, 1953-1970. Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2010. Call number: on order (Abbotsford)

Hewitt, Nancy A. No permanent waves : recasting histories of U.S. feminism  New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2010. Call number: on order (Abbotsford)

Janovicek, Nancy. No place to go [electronic resource] : local histories of the battered women's shelter movement.  Vancouver [B.C.] : UBC Press, c2007. Call number: HV 1448 C3 J36 2007 E-book on the Internet (Abbotsford, Web)

Law, Cheryl. Suffrage and power : the women's movement, 1918-1928.  London ; New York : I.B. Tauris ; New York : In the U.S.A. and Canada, distributed by St Martin's Press, c1997. Call number:  HQ 1597 L39 1997 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Mander, Christine. Emily Murphy, rebel : first female magistrate in the British Empire. Toronto [Ont.] : Dundurn, c1985. Call number: E-book on the Internet (Website)

McMillen, Sally Gregory. Seneca Falls and the origins of the women's rights movement [electronic resource] . New York : Oxford University Press, 2008. Call number: E-book on the Internet (Web)

McCormack, Thelma. Politics and the hidden injuries of gender : feminism and the making of the welfare state. Ottawa : CRIAW/ICREF, 1991. Call number: HQ 1236.5 C3 M376 1991 (Abbotsford)

Rebick, Judy. Ten thousand roses : the making of a feminist revolution  Toronto : Penguin Canada, c2005. Call number: HQ 1453 R423 2005 (Abbotsford)

Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada. Report (Ottawa : Information Canada, 1970, reprinted 1973). Call number: HQ 1453 A45 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Sangster, Joan. Dreams of equality : women on the Canadian left, 1920-1950  Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c1989. Call number: HQ 1236.5 C3 S25 1989 (Chilliwack)

Sharpe, Robert J. The Persons case : the origins and legacy of the fight for legal personhood  Toronto : Published for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, c2007. Call number: HQ 1236.5 C3 S49 2007 (Abbotsford)

Sklar, Kathryn Kish. Women's rights emerges within the anti-slavery movement, 1830-1870 : a brief history with documents Boston : Bedford/St. Martin's, c2000. Call number: HQ 1418 S57 2000 (Abbotsford)

Stansell, Christine. The feminist promise [electronic resource] : 1792 to the present  New York : Modern Library, c2010. Call number: E-book on the Internet (Web)


Outside Links:


Governor General's Persons Case Awards: http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/gg/index-eng.html

United Nations History of International Women's Day: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/history.html



Display on bulletin board in the student lounge outside the Chilliwack library

Sources:

Canadian Encyclopedia: Status of Women in Canada http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0007674.

From The Canadian Encyclopedia: Women's Movement: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0008684

Celebrating Women's Achievements: Library and Archives Canada: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/women/030001-1100-e.html

Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case: http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/gg/index-eng.html

Sharpe, Robert J, and Patricia I. McMahon. The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood. Toronto: Published for the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, 2007. Print.

Updated April 13, 2011, lm.

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