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Copy of Women in Canadian History: Gains and Gaps in the Struggle for Equality
Transcript of Copy of Women in Canadian History: Gains and Gaps in the Struggle for Equality
Gains and Gaps in the Struggle for Equality Welcome to a journey through significant moments in the history of women in Canada. This timeline highlights events which show the changing role of women in Canadian society. Over the past century, women’s struggle for equality has seen significant gains such as the right to vote and hold office, an increased presence and protected role in the workplace, legal protection from domestic violence and constitutionally enshrined equality rights. However, in many cases, these gains also left important gaps where groups of women such as Aboriginals were left behind, stereotypes of women persisted, legislation promising protection was not enforced and access to legal rights was limited. While so much has been gained, in large part through women’s activist roles, there are still gaps to be filled in the ongoing journey towards equality. 1914 1916 1918 1921 1928 1929 1941 1951 1960 1967 1969 1982 1988 1991 Where are we now? Mock Parliament Right to vote in Manitoba Right to vote in federal elections First female Member of Parliament Women win Olympic Gold The Persons Case Women serving in World War Two Equal pay for equal work Aboriginal women gain the vote Royal Commission on the Status of Women Decriminalization of birth control Equal status in the Charter Abortion law struck down Action on Violence Against Women
Before Confederation, voting was a privilege given to male landowners. When the BNA Act came into being in 1867, women were still denied the right to vote or be elected, whether or not they were property owners or taxpayers. Women began a suffrage movement in the 1870s, but the fight for the right to vote did not gain force until the early 1900s. Female leaders such as Nellie McClung and Emily Murphy fought publicly for women’s suffrage. They formed the Political Equity League in 1912. The women were met with arguments that “nice” women did not want the vote and, in the words of Sir Rodmond Roblin, the Conservative Premier of Manitoba, “it will break up the home.”
In this political satire, Nellie McClung played the part of the Premier and the subject of debate was whether or not men should have the vote. In a speech which poked fun at the reasons men were giving for not allowing women to vote, McClung told the audience it would be a big mistake to give men the vote: “Men’s place is on the farm.” The audience found the mock parliament hilarious and it was a resounding success for the women’s suffrage movement. The play went on tour and played to packed and enthusiastic houses. Aside from its entertainment value, the Mock Parliament was significant since it gave energy and support to the League’s campaign. Women’s suffrage became more respectable and fashionable, causing more women – as well as men - to support the cause. It also partially helped to bring about the defeat of Roblin’s Conservation government in the 1915 provincial election, an important step towards securing voting rights for women in Manitoba. This is a poster
To rally public support, the League held a Mock Parliament on January 28, 1914 at the Walker Theatre in Manitoba. In this 1974 CBC television clip,
Manitoban Beatrice Brigden recalls being at
the "uproariously funny"
Mock Parliament of 1914.
In 1915, there was a new Liberal government in Manitoba which, unlike the previous Conservative government, was more supportive of women’s suffrage. To ensure that women would gain the right to vote, Nellie McClung and the Political Equity League presented the government with a formal petition for the enfranchisement of women. It read:
“To the Honourable Members of His Majesty’s Government of the Province of Manitoba and the Members of the Legislative Assembly of Said Province – The Liberal Party - that there are no grounds for debarring women from the right to vote, will enact a measure providing for equal suffrage upon it being established by petition that this is desired by adult women to a number equivalent to 15% of the votes cast at the preceding general election in this Province. Your petitioners are desirous that a measure shall be enacted forthwith extending the franchise to women on equal terms with men."
Members of the Political Equity League present a petition for women’s suffrage on December 11, 1915.
As a result of the efforts of the Political Equity League, on January 29, 1916, Manitoba became the first Canadian province to give women the vote. This allowed for the women’s suffrage movement to gain strength on both the provincial and the federal level. Nellie McClung continued to fight for women's suffrage in other provinces and, by 1925, they had all followed suit except Quebec (who did not extend the vote to women until 1940). Aside from the work of the women’s suffrage movement, there were several things which set the stage for women to gain the vote federally in 1918. Although he was not enthusiastic about giving women the vote, Prime Minister Robert Borden was desperate to win the upcoming fall 1917 election and felt he needed extra support. This was during World War I and the issue of conscription was a key point in the election. In 1917, Parliament passed the Military Voter’s Act which gave all individuals – including about 2000 women – who were serving overseas the right to vote. Later that same year, the Wartime Elections Act granted the right to vote to the wives, mothers and sisters of men serving overseas. Both of these Acts gave women restricted enfranchisement - some women were provided temporary voting rights. This angered suffragists who saw the half-measures as an attempt to serve the wartime cause and not women’s rights. However, some 500,000 women voted for the first time in federal elections on December 17, 1917. Borden’s government won and in the spring of 1918, he extended the right to vote to Canadian women 21 years and over, albeit with some major restrictions (Aboriginal and Asian women were not included). The first federal election in which women were able to vote took place on December 6, 1921. This was a pamphlet distributed by The National Liberal and Conservative Party and Publicity Bureau, published in Ottawa in 1921.
It counsels women to think for themselves when they vote. The assumption had always been that there was no point in giving women the vote since they would merely follow their husband’s opinion. On December 6, 1921, in the first federal election in which women had the vote, Agnes Macphail became the first woman elected to the House of Commons. She was a member of the Progressives, a farmer-based party, and represented the riding of Grey South East in Ontario. Although the former schoolteacher won by 210 votes, there were many who were surprised at the outcome. This doubt in her abilities did not phase Macphail and she said the following about her first day in office:
"On my desk the first day I found a bouquet bearing on the card an unfamiliar name. I was much interested until I found that it was the loser of a wager who bought the flowers. Poor chap! Well I enjoyed them anyway." In 1928, women were allowed to compete in track and field events at the Olympics for the first time. When women first began competing in the Olympics in 1900, they were confined to more delicate athletic pursuits at the Games like lawn tennis and golf. This stemmed partly from the attitude that sports were for men and that women would harm themselves from heavy running and jumping. After much rallying from women’s groups in different countries, they were allowed to compete in sprints, long jump and high jump in 1928. Unfortunately, several women collapsed at the end of the 800-meter race, and this was used to prove the theory that running was not good for women. Newspapers such as the Globe and Mail and the New York Times gave alarmist accounts saying that the distance was too great a strain on feminine strength. The event was banned again until 1960. This was the start of the 800 metre dash at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam in which
several women collapsed. The first Canadian women to participate in the track and field events at the Olympics were Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld, Jean Thompson, Ethel Smith, Mrytle Cook, Ethel Catherwood, and Jane Bell – they later became known as the Matchless Six when they became the first Canadian women to win Olympic gold. The second gold medal was won by Ethel Catherwood for the high-jump. This remains the only individual gold medal ever won by a Canadian woman in track and field. These women have inspired countless female Canadian athletes to pursue their sports and their dreams for Olympic gold. The gold-medal relay team: Jane Bell, Myrtle Cook, Ethel Smith and Fanny Rosenfeld. Canadian women won their first gold medal for the relay event in world-record time: 48.4 seconds. With the support of Prime Minister MacKenzie King, the Famous Five appealed to the Privy Council. On October 18, 1929, the Privy Council reversed the Supreme Court of Canada's verdict and legally validated women as "persons" under the BNA Act. This affirmed that women were entitled to participate in all political positions, including the Senate. In fact, only a year later in 1930, Cairine Wilson become the first Canadian woman appointed to the Senate. In 1916, Canada's first female judge, Emily Murphy, became aware that a woman could not be appointed to the Senate on the grounds that they were not "persons" under section 24 of the British North America Act. For the next decade, a number of women's groups lobbied the federal government to change this, without success. In 1927, Emily Murphy took matters into her own hands and, needing five people to initiate an appeal to the Supreme Court, gathered four other Alberta women to launch this proceeding. These women, who became known as the Famous Five, appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on March 14, 1928, to ask the question of whether women were included as 'persons' in the BNA Act. The Court ruled against them. This is the August 1927 petition signed by the Famous Five containing the two questions referred to the Supreme Court. After the Second World War, soldiers were returning home in need of employment. Many women who had entered the work force during the war were discouraged from continuing their careers and left to resume their traditional women's role as housewives. Only 22% of working women remained in their employment and these women were paid only half the wages received by men. Many women fought against this unfair practice. In 1951, the Fair Employment Practices Act as well as the Female Employees Fair Remuneration Act were passed in Ontario. The goals of these two laws were to protect women from discrimination in the work place as well as give them the right to equal pay for equal work. While the laws protected women on paper, they were very poorly enforced. Men held 90% of managerial positions and were, for the most part, working in different fields than women. Women were mainly employed in traditional female occupations such as nursing, teaching or secretarial work. This created a loophole for employers; these women's wages could not be compared to those of men since there were no males employed in these fields. This resulted in much lower pay than women deserved. In 1961, women still only earned an average of 59% of what men earned. By 1997, the average wage for women was only 63.8% of the earnings of men. This is a 1950s magazine ad for specially
designed typewriter keys and nail polish for
secretaries. The ad claims to remedy women's common complaint that their nails chipped from typing. This reflects the fact that secretarial work was a woman's job. The underlying message is that a woman's concern for her appearance may be more important to her than her job performance. This 1959 job training film pokes fun at the real problem some men had accepting women in the workplace. They believed them to be less capable than men and difficult to work with.
Although having women in uniformed service was a big change, unequal treatment and attitudes towards women still prevailed. The women were primarily used in support jobs to release the men and this did not extend to any front-line active service. Even women who had flying licences were not allowed to be flight instructors or airforce pilots in the war. In addition to her limited role, a servicewoman’s initial pay rate was two thirds below that of the men who had been performing the same jobs. In response to a public outcry led by the National Council of Women, women’s pay was raised in 1943 to 80% of the pay of men of the same rank. This was an improvement but still did not lead to pay equity.
Further, the traditional attitudes towards women prevailed with thoughts that the feminine nature was unsuited to service life. This is apparent in the way women were recruited for wartime work. Many of the recruitment posters and films tried to dispel the fear that uniformed service was upsetting traditional gender roles. There was an attempt to show that women could maintain their femininity while doing more "manly" work. The following 1944 army recruitment film uses an upbeat movie musical style to do this. The Hollywood-like style attracted women to the otherwise "unromantic" jobs.
By the end of the war, almost 50,000 women had served in one of the three women’s service divisions. The uniformed women contributed to the Allied victory by adding much-needed personnel to the war effort. Despite the inequalities which persisted, the participation of Canadian women in the forces did change public attitudes about women’s roles and paved the way for full participation of women in the future. http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/health/reproductive-issues/the-birth-control-pill/legalizing-contraceptives.html While most Canadian women were given the right to vote in federal elections in 1918, there were groups of women left behind. Aboriginal women – as well as men – had to give up their treaty rights and Indian status in order to get the vote; very few were willing to do so since they would lose their entitlement to land claims and tax exemptions. After a number of Aboriginal Canadians served in World War II, many Canadians believed they should be granted the vote with no strings attached. However, this did not occur until March 10, 1960, when Prime Minister John Diefenbaker granted status Indians the right to vote without giving up their treaty rights in an Act to Amend the Canada Elections Act. As of 1960, there were no remaining voting rights restrictions based on gender, race or religion in Canada. Aboriginal women were finally granted the right to vote without restriction. People casting their ballots at the Hiawatha Council Hall, near Rice Lake, Ontario. This was in 1962 during the first federal election in which all adult Aborginals had the right to vote. In the late 1960s in Canada, a new women’s movement emerged which rejected all limits to the equality of women both legally and in daily life. This new feminism spurred women to start forming groups, some just to raise awareness but many providing services for women such as daycares, health centres and shelters for battered women. At this time, people still questioned whether married women should work outside the home – and only 25% did. The Commission's recommendations dealt with issues in which women experienced inequality such as housing, daycare, and labour standards. Some of the recommendations included addressing birth control and daycare issues, creating laws that made gender or marital status discrimination illegal, equalizing pay, and providing unemployment insurance to women on maternity leave.
Only some of the recommendations were adopted but the Commission played an important role in publicizing these issues. It also signified the recognition of women’s inequality as a serious problem. The Royal Commission’s report helped focus the energy of many Canadian women and mobilized more feminist women’s groups to demand action. It was an important step towards women’s groups cooperating on a national level. In 1971, the National Action Committee was founded to implement the recommendations; it grew into the largest national feminist organization - made up of over 700 groups - and is still in existence today. The following link is a CBC video
in which Florence Bird, the head of the Commission, explains its importance. When you click on it, a new tab will open in your web browser. You must exit fullscreen mode to view the new webpage. Since 1892, Section 179 of the Criminal Code stated that it was illegal to sell or advertise birth control in Canada:
“Everyone is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to two years imprisonment who knowingly, without lawful excuse of justification, offers to sell, advertises, publishes an advertisement of or has for sale or disposal of any medicine, drug or article intended or represented as a means of preventing conception.”
Despite the fact that it was illegal, Elizabeth Bagshaw, one of Canada’s first female doctors, established Canada’s first family planning clinic in Hamilton, Ontario in 1932. This led to the Parents’ Information Bureau in 1935 which distributed birth control information. After WWII and the baby boom, public acceptance of birth control increased rapidly and the Parents’ Information Bureau was soon serving 25,000 clients a year. By 1960, the birth control pill was available in Canada, although doctors could only prescribe it for therapeutic and not birth control purposes.
After years of effort on the part of women’s groups, in 1969, Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau and the Liberal government legalized all forms of birth control. The section of the Criminal Code making it illegal to advertise or sell birth control was finally removed. Decriminalizing contraception gave all Canadian women the right to prevent pregnancy. Although some women had sought out birth control before this, the repeal of the law made birth control information more accessible and the numbers of female users increased. This was a significant step in the empowerment of women over their own bodies. Women were able to take the birth control pill at their discretion and without depending on a man. This made a major impact on women since they were no longer forced into motherhood. For the first time, the choice to prevent pregnancy was in their hands. They could choose to pursue higher education and careers uninterrupted. The same legislation also decriminalized some abortions under extremely restricted conditions. Abortion was illegal in Canada until 1969 when Parliament passed a law that allowed abortion in certain circumstances. This amendment to Section 251 of the Criminal Code of Canada provided for abortions where the health of the woman was deemed at risk by a therapeutic abortion committee consisting of three doctors. Abortions could only be performed in accredited hospitals by licensed physicians. All other abortions were still subject to the Criminal Code sanctions.
Many women felt that, although this was a step towards women’s rights over their bodies, it did not go far enough. It seemed that Parliament merely replaced judicial control after the fact (punishment of abortion as a crime) with medical control before the fact (a committee decision). As the law came into effect, it was evident that the interpretation of whether a pregnancy posed a health risk to the woman varied widely across the country. Also, there was an uneven distribution of hospitals with therapeutic abortion committees so that legal abortions were not even available in more remote regions. The Canadian Bill of Rights had been in effect since 1960 but it provided only a limited type of equality for women. Women were considered to be the “same before the law”, meaning that one woman would be treated the same as another. Yet, they were not given equality under the law; the courts were still able to treat women differently from men. When Prime Minister Trudeau and his Liberal government sought to reform the Bill of Rights and create a new Constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms, women began a campaign to ensure that they would have true equality in that document. In 1981, a group of lawyers formed an Ad Hoc Committee on the Constitution and began to work on an equal rights clause that would become Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 15 was based on two principles: “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination” and that discrimination could not occur “based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”
The Liberal government intervened to prevent a conference that had been organized to discuss the potential impact for women of the proposed Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In response, 1300 women made a sudden trip to Ottawa to hold the Conference on the Status of Women. This reinforced women’s demands for gender equality and was a major influence on both section 15 and section 28 being added to the Charter. Section 28 reads: “Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.” On April 17, 1982, Prime Minister Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth II signed the Canadian Constitution and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At that time, Canada still needed permission from the Queen to amend its Constitution. At the time the Charter was enacted, section 15 was put on hold for three years to allow federal and provincial governments time to review their legislation and change any discriminatory laws. In 1985, section 15 came into effect. For the first time, women were recognized as equal under the law to men. The strong equality provisions in the Charter have been used in hundreds of cases to protect women’s rights under the law and have had a significant and dramatic impact on women’s equal treatment both under the law and in daily life. This is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The document ensures that all Canadians are protected from legislation which infringes upon their Charter rights. Before 1969, abortion was illegal in Canada. In 1969, section 251(4) of the Criminal Code was amended to allow therapeutic abortions for women in limited circumstances. A hospital committee had to decide that a pregnancy endangered the life or health of the woman. Many groups and individuals urged the government to go further and repeal the abortion law so as to make abortions legal and accessible to all women. Dr. Henry Morgentaler was one doctor who defied the Criminal Code and performed abortions in his medical practice; he was charged and arrested. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. On January 28, 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s abortion law. The law was found by a majority of judges to violate a woman’s right under section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to "life, liberty and security of person". At that time, there was only one woman judge on the Supreme Court, Bertha Wilson, who had been the first woman appointed in 1982. Siding with the majority, she wrote that: "The right to liberty contained in section 7 guarantees to every individual a degree of personal autonomy over important decisions intimately affecting their private lives.” This was significant since it saw abortion as part of a woman's right over her own body and her life. The effect of this decision was to decriminalize abortions in Canada. Since then, there has been no new legislation, leaving Canada as one of the only countries with no abortion law. This effectively means that women are in control of their own decisions as to whether or not to procure abortions; they are no longer subject to legal guidelines or the recommendation of a medical committee. However, there are still issues with accessibility across different regions of Canada which affect women’s abilities to carry out their rights in practice. Dr. Henry Morgentaler has been Canada's most visible pro-choice activist. Governor General Michaelle Jean, right, decorates Morgentaler as a member of the Order of Canada at the Citadelle in Quebec City on Friday, Oct. 10, 2008. In 1970, an Abortion Caravan of women travelled from Vancouver to Ottawa, arriving on Parliament Hill on Mother’s Day to demonstrate for unrestricted access to legal abortions. This was Canada’s first national feminist protest and it closed down Parliament for the first time in Canadian history.
The fact that women have always been more vulnerable to violence has been an important factor in their struggle for equality in Canadian society. It was only in 1983 that rape laws were broadened to sexual assault laws and, for the first time, it was considered a crime for a man to rape his wife. At the same time, police were directed to lay charges in domestic violence cases even where women were too afraid to do so. Before this, men usually faced no consequences for beating their female partners. However, violence against women persisted. On December 6, 1991, the first National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada took place. This was established by Parliament to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Montreal Massacre. The significance of the day of remembrance goes beyond commemorating this shocking act of violence against women. It represents a recognition of gender-based violence and the impact it has on women in our society. It also makes Canadians reflect on the number of women for whom violence remains a daily reality. This gives rise to concrete actions aimed at eliminating violence against women. As we have seen, there have been significant gains in equality for Canadian women, often due to the activism of women’s groups. A woman’s legal status and opportunities are vastly different than they were a century ago. However, there are still obstacles in the ability to enforce legal rights and achieve equality in practice. It has been almost a century since women were given the right to vote and hold government office, and there are more female political candidates than ever. Still, women’s representation is completely disproportionate to their population size. Women have made great strides in education and over half of all students at Canadian universities are female; 34% of all women now have a university degree compared with 26% of men. In addition, about 60% of all women are employed – more than double the amount in 1976. Despite these gains, two thirds of women are still working in traditional female occupations such as nursing, social work and clerical positions. Women still have not achieved job and pay equity with men; in general, they make about 75% of what men earn and do the bulk of the housework and childcare. Access to daycare remains limited and single mother households are the poorest in the country. Although women are protected by law from domestic violence and sexual assault, they are still much more vulnerable to these assaults than men and there has not been a significant drop in the rates of violence against women in the past decade. The continuing challenge is to ensure that equality rights guaranteed on paper become a reality for every Canadian woman. A portrait of Agnes MacPhail A coalition of 32 women's organizations campaigned for the creation of a Royal Commission on the Status of Women. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson's government faced threats that millions of women would march to Ottawa if he did not take action. In response, the federal government set up the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in February 1967. Journalist Florence Bird was chairwoman of the Commission whose mandate was to investigate all matters related to the status of women in Canada and submit a report. The goal was to ensure equal opportunities for women in all aspects of Canadian society. Click on the following link to watch an excerpt from
the CBC program "The Day It Is" first broadcast on June 16, 1969. Host Barbara Frum interviews Aileen Hall, the director of the Planned Parenthood Association in Toronto about the change in birth control legislation. Liberal MP Ralph Cowan expresses his resistance to the change. This is an excerpt from a newsletter of
a women's group fighting for section 28 equality
right to be included in the Charter. On December 6, 1989, fourteen women were killed by a man named Marc Lepine at l'Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. They were murdered solely because of their gender. This is an excerpt from the CBC news coverage the evening of the shooting. 1985 Indian Act Amendment Under the 1951 Indian Act, an Indian woman who married a non-Indian man would lose her status. She would suffer the same fate if her Indian husband died or abandoned her. Legally, a woman's status was conditional on that of her husband. If she became non-status, she would lose her right to live on the reserve and have no access to band resources. The woman could be separated from her own family, community, and heritage. Her children could also involuntarily lose their status. A 1973 Supreme Court case, Bedard and Lavell, directly challenged the discriminatory section of the Indian Act. The two women had lost their Indian status and privileges upon marriage to non-Indians. They charged that this section of the Indian Act violated the equality clause in the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights. The case was lost and the "marrying out" rule under the Indian Act was upheld. Despite this, the case brought visibility to the gender discrimination of the Indian Act and encouraged major political action from both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women's groups to pressure the Canadian government to change the law. In 1982, when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Fredoms was enacted, the new section 15 forced the Canadian government to address the discriminatory sections of the Indian Act. On April 17, 1985, Bill C-31 was passed, amending the Indian Act by abolishing the "marrying out" clauses. It allowed women who had married non-Indians to reclaim their lost status, along with that of their first-generation children. The 1985 Indian Act was significant since it was one of the major pieces of legislation affected by the new equality clause in the Charter. This ensured that an Aboriginal woman was no longer dependent on a man for her status. Jeannette Lavell, one of the women who had challenged the Indian Act, went on to work for Aboriginal women's rights. On October 1, 2009, she received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case presented by Governor General Michaelle Jean. This award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of women's equality. http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/politics/rights-freedoms/equality-first-the-royal-commission-on-the-status-of-women/canadian-feminists-fight-for-change.html This CBC Television clip was broadcast on March 28,
1967, when the Commission had been in full swing for just over a month. Activist Laura Sabia talks about how women need to stop accepting the status quo and that a change in women's attitudes is key. The mottoes used by each organization, as seen in this war propaganda poster, represented the supporting role women played: We Serve That Men May Fly; We Serve That Men May Fight; We Are the Women Behind the Men Behind the Guns. After Canada’s entry into World War II, women were called on to contribute to the war effort through volunteer work, paid labour and uniformed service. The major contribution of women occurred on the homefront in the form of volunteer efforts and this was recognized and coordinated at the national level through the Women’s Voluntary Services organization. At the same time, women were needed to do the civilian jobs that men had left, most of these involving factory production. The National Selective Service, established by Prime Minister Mackenzie King, recruited women for these positions.
The biggest change for women was their recruitment into uniformed service. At the beginning of World War II, the Royal Canadian Air Force experienced a shortage of personnel and, in July 1941, women were recruited for uniformed service for the first time in the Women’s Division. In August of that year, the Army opened its doors to women to join the Canadian Women’s Army Corps. The Navy followed suit in July 1942 with the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service. Men were needed for training as well as combat duties overseas. The women took over administrative and clerical work to release the men for these heavier duties. Women’s jobs in the forces expanded as the war progressed and they took on responsibilities such as drivers, mechanics, fabric workers and parachute riggers. A women's newsletter in 1981 published a poem
about section 28 of the Charter. It is a spin on Canada's national anthem. The revised lyrics illustrate how women were prohibited from being 'free' and how "Clause 28 will stand on guard..." for them. Despite any initial doubts, Macphail ended up serving in the House of Commons through three re-elections in 1925, 1926, and 1930 until her defeat in 1940. This is a 1925 newspaper article from "The Flesherton Advance" in Ontario, announcing Macphail's 1925 election victory over the Conservative candidate. http://www.cbc.ca/video/watch/DigitalArchives/Politics/Rights and Freedoms/ID=1409020791