The situation of women
In 1905, women were considered minors. They had neither the right to vote nor the right to run for election. Single women and widows could own property, but once they were married, women had to give up most of their rights to their husbands. Most politicians, journalists and religious leaders believed that a woman’s place was in the home, caring for the family.
The right to vote
Starting in the late 19th century, several organizations were created to demand more rights for women, including the right to vote. For example, Anglophone women created the Montreal Council for Women and the Montreal Suffrage Association. In 1907, Marie Gerin-Lajoie and Caroline Béique founded the Fédération nationale Saint-Jean-Baptiste, which called for more rights for women, access to higher education and the right to vote. Thérèse Casgrain was also a militant activist. For 14 years, she served as president of the Ligue des droits de la femme, and tried to convince the Church to reconsider its position on women’s right to vote.
In 1916, Manitoban women were the first in Canada to win the right to vote. In 1918, Canadian women won the right to vote in federal elections. But it was not until 1940 that women in Quebec gained the right to vote in their own provincial elections.
See also – Traces of the past:
- The aristocracy of the sexes
- Equal work-equal pay
- Married women in the workplace
- The world upside down!
- Female suffrage
- Law concerning the minimum wage for women