Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

October 18, 2013 08:11 ET

Message from the Governor General of Canada on the Occasion of "Persons" Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 18, 2013) -

I am sending greetings from Beijing, China, to Canadian women and men on the occasion of "Persons" Day.

It is almost inconceivable that just decades ago, only men were included in the definition of the word "persons" in the eyes of the law. Fortunately, at the beginning of the 20th century, some remarkable women had the courage and the determination to oppose that convention, which even at that time was a relic from a bygone era.

Despite many challenges, on October 18, 1929, the women now known as the Famous Five made history by successfully claiming the right for all Canadian women to sit in the Senate. In so doing, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir paved the way for all women, from that day forward, to actively participate in public and political life, and struck a major victory for our entire nation.

Their actions helped to build a country, and indeed a world, that is more enlightened and considerate, but as we know, the fight for gender equality continues today. On this day of commemoration, I invite you to learn more about this turning point in our collective heritage, which I am sure will remain a source of inspiration for present and future generations.

David Johnston

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