The Persons Case (Famous Five)

FACTS & DETAILS

The famous statue of "The Famous Five." Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Edwards, and Irene Parbly
The famous statue of "The Famous Five." Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Edwards, and Irene Parbly
The Persons Case, generally speaking, was during the time of 1911-1929 and it involved the struggle to fight for the womens' rights.They were 5 Alberta women fighting together who were later known as "The Famous Five." It was led by Emily Murphy but the group included Nellie McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards, and Irene Parlby. Their one goal and ONLY goal was to get the Canadian government to see women as "persons" under the law and get treated the same way as men do.

Before this case, the concept of womens' rights changed several times. Most Canadian provinces were allowed to vote, however as soon as the women got married they lost all of their rights. The Famous Five felt that this law was unfair and wanted the right for women to make their own money, manage to live by themselves, the right to vote, and given the choice of marriage and raising children. This was their main goal and felt the need to accomplish it for the women.


Emily Murphy was a writer, journalist, magistrate and a reformer. She was also the judge of the Famous Five and was the first one to re
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This is Emily Murphy who was the judge of the Famous Five.
alize that they had to take action and get something done. One day, she was visiting a farm and saw a women all alone; homeless and penniless with absolutely no rights of property. The women explained to Emily that her husband has sold their land and fled to the United States of America. From that day on, she decided to change and improve the lives of women by equaling out their rights the same as men. Along with Emily there was a strong, and brave Nellie McClung who gave out a meaningful speech to the crowd of Edmonton. Since mens' biggest interest was alcohol, The Famous Five decided to ban it until the women got the rights. They assumed that all the money that the men earn on working was used up on booze. These women did not want it that way so they portrayed it in some kind of threat.
1911 - In the following year, Alberta passed the Powers Act giving the women rights to 1/3 share of their husbands property.This was a beginning step to fair share.
1927
The women from Alberta, "Famous Five," brought forward and signed a petition to the Prime Minister and the Federal Department of Justice. The issue was ruled on: Were women persons, and therefore eligible to sit in the Supreme Court of
Canada? They were once again rejected because they declared that women should not be PERSONS. The five of them were discouraged however, they were not defeated. They kept trying and did not give up easily. They stayed strong and hoped one day that they would reach their goal.
1929
2 years later, Emily Murphy finally won! On October 18, 1929 the Lord Chancellor of the Judical Committee Privy Council declared the women as persons. He stated, "women are eligible to be summoned and may become Members of the Senate of Canada." It was the day of celebration because this event has changed the face of Canadian politics. Many of Emily Murphy's friends thought that she deserved to be the 1st woman appointed to the Senate. However when it came to the time to appoint a Senate in 1930, surprisingly it was not Emily Murphy. It was Cairine Wilson who recieved the position from William Lyon Mackenzie, the first woman delegated to the United Nations. She was best known to support her refugees and was a proponent of Medical care.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS TOPIC IN CANADIAN/ WORLD HISTORY


The Famous Five will never be forgotten by anybody because they left such a great impact on all of us, especially the women. They were the ones that changed the lives of women drastically in ways that will last a life time. It was not a short term change, women would not be obligated to marriage and kids, they were allowed to work and get paid the same amount as men do, and given the right to vote. If the Famous Five were not so committed to their goal and easily gave up, women would still be living miserable lives, staying home all day and taking care of their children.
GALLERY & VIDEOS

Nellie McClung
Nellie McClung
Louise McKinney
Louise McKinney
Irene Parbly
Irene Parbly
Henrietta Edwards
Henrietta Edwards
Cairine Wilson
Cairine Wilson












CLICK ON PERSON & LINK TO SEE VIDEOS:
video : Emily Murphy audio: http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=13535
video : Nellie McClung audio: http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=13558

These pictures of the first 4 women are members in the Famous Five including Emily Murphy (top of page) Cairine Wilson posing on the stairs is the women that was appointed by the Senate (last photo on the right)

REFERENCES


http://www.histori.ca/peace/page.do?pageID=276http://www.histori.ca/minutes/http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006236
http://www.abheritage.ca/famous5/achievements/persons_case.html