During the 1920's, most women were still expected to stay at home and look after the children. Those women who did work, found they had two jobs, employee and housewife. Many women worked to achieve independence and equality for women. Canadian women benefited from the courageous acts of several leaders who challenged the legal restrictions that limited woman's rights in this country.
Nellie McClung was an active fighter for women rights in Canada during the 1920's. After McClung's election to the Manitoba legislature in 1921, she began to reform conditions for the rights of Canadian women. McClung and a group known as the "Alberta Five" won women the right to be appointed to the Canadian Senate.
Agnes Macphail ran for office in 1921, became the first female member of the House of Commons. Macphail held the seat for 19 years. Agnes Macphail fought diligently for women's rights and social welfare legislation.
In 1916 in Alberta, Emily Murphy became the first woman magistrate in the British Empire. Murphy's appointment was challenged. Under the law, women were not considered persons, and therefore couldn't become judges. In 1921, the Montreal Women's Club asked Prime Minister Arthur Meighen to appoint Murphy to the Senate. Meighen refused on the grounds one had to be a "person" to be a Senator. In 1927, Murphy took her case to the courts for a ruling. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that at the time the British North American Act was completed, a woman was not considered to be a person. Murphy then took her case to the British Privy Council in London, England, which was higher than the Supreme Court at that time. In 1929, the British Privy Council ruled that women were in fact persons under the law. The objection to Emily Murphy appointment was later...