Day 3: Emily Murphy
Emily Murphy was born to a very political and affluent family in Ontario. She moved out West with her husband and children and they eventually settled in Alberta. She was responsible for creating the Dower Act a piece of legislation that gave married women rights to their farms and land because up until that point if your husband sold the farm without telling you and ran off then you were shit outta luck. After being kicked out of a hearing at the women’s court because the subject matter wasn’t suitable to be heard in mixed company (with men and women present) she petitioned the government to let the women’s court be presided over by a female judge. The government agreed and she became the first female magistrate in the British Empire/Commonwealth. But in her first case she found the defendant guilty and was told she was not permitted to do that because legally she wasn’t a person. That lead her to join with the rest of the Famous five to petition the government to answer whether women were considered persons under the BNA. On October 18th 1929 they won the Persons Case. (October is women’s history month in Canada to commemorate that). It declared women persons which entitled them to the rights accorded to persons under the BNA. Although she was very much for women’s rights she was very conservative on other topics such as immigration and she supported eugenics which has created some reluctance among people to honour her and the rest of the Famous five.
Jour 3: Emily Murphy (French tomorrow)
"Whenever I don’t know whether to fight or not, I fight." -Emily Murphy