Essay on Equality and Justice for All in Canada

1322 Words6 Pages
Today, Canada is known around the world as a cultural mosaic. As a nation it welcomes people of both sexes with all different beliefs, cultures, and religions. Creating a mature nation would require promoting equality of opportunity to all and giving help to those who were disadvantaged. However, Canada has not always been a welcoming and mature nation. In the past, women were not allowed to vote alongside men or run for political positions, due to the fact that they were not considered “persons”. As well, Aboriginal children were stipped from their homes, families, and identities so that they could assimilate all First Nations people. During the last century, women have gained more political rights, gained more respect from society, and…show more content…
31 year old Agnes Macphail, became the first women elected into the House of Commons (Milestones for Canadian Women in Politics). In 1921, during her campaign she said “I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality.” (Milestones for Canadian Women in Politics) She was a monumental figure for all Canadian women to realize that had the same say as men do and can be leaders if they desire to do so.

Women being able to vote was a huge step forward for Canadian women, but even though they could run for certain political positions, they could not be Senators. During the early twentieth century women were not legally considered “persons” and could not be Senators (Women become Persons). This act of exclusion portrayed Canada as an immature nation. A milestone with significant importance occurred in the Persons Case. The first constitution of Canada was the BNA Act (British North America Act). In this constitution it referred to a group of people as “persons” but when one individual was referenced they used the word ‘he”. The constitution restricted women from holding public office. (History Canadian resources book) The act declared that “women are persons in matters of pain and penalties, but are not persons in matters of rights and privileges.” Therefore, women could be given the same penalties as men for breaking a law, but could not receive the same basic benefits that men could. Unfair legalities like this proves that Canada was
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