The Famous Five and the Persons Case Essay

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What if you did not count as a person anymore? You would be denied of many rights and freedoms we take for granted today. This was the situation women faced in the past. Before 1929, women didn’t count as “persons”. Although they weren’t denied of all their rights, women weren’t allowed to become senators. Five women in Alberta decided to take action and formed the Famous Five. The Famous Five fought for the rights of women by winning the Persons Case and they’re the reason why women are considered persons today. The Famous Five are prominent people in Canadian history and they have established many of our rights. The Famous Five consists of Emily Murphy, Henrietta Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parbly. They are most …show more content…

They decided the question to be asked was “Does the word ‘person’ in section 24 of the BNA Act include female persons?” (Section 15, 2004). Unfortunately, in 1928, the Supreme Court of Canada answers this question with no; women weren’t persons. The judges of the Supreme Court stated that when the BNA Act was written, women weren’t allowed vote or run for office and the British House of Lords had no females (Alberta Online Encyclopedia, 2004). Therefore, women didn’t count as “persons”. However, the Famous Five weren’t satisfied with the answer they got and decided to continue working on the case. The Famous Five decided to appeal to the decision made by the Supreme Court of Canada with the support of Prime Minister Mackenzie King. The Famous Five appealed to the Judicial Committee and Privy Council of England. In 1929, the British Privy Council declared women as “persons”. They stated that the constitution is a “living tree” and should change according to the time (Creating Canada, page 154). In conclusion, the victory of the Persons Case contributed to the importance of women and opened the door to many rights. After women were declared as persons, women’s role in society increased. Although none of the Famous Five was appointed as a senator, Carine Wilson became the first female senator 1 year later. Also, the Persons Case allowed women to vote

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