Canadian women have participated in many social movements, both on their own, and allied with men.
Women are considered LABOUR FORCE participants only if they work outside the home. In the past women have been expected to be in the labour force only until they marry; this reflects the historical, idealized notion of a society in which the man is the breadwinner and the woman the homemaker.
Women have looked to the law as a tool to change their circumstances, while at the same time the law is one of the instruments which confirms their dependent status as citizens (see Status of Women). The first phase of the Women's Movement, in proclaiming that women were capable of reason as well as reproduction and nurturing, claimed a place for women in the public sphere, while also relying upon the concept of "separate spheres" to delineate their areas of strength and competence.
"I feel equal," wrote Emily Murphy in 1927, "to high and splendid braveries."
René Lévesque, premier of Québec 1976-85, politician, journalist, nationalist (born 24 Aug 1922 in Campbellton, NB; died 1 November 1987 in Montréal, QC).
The Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, also known as the Bird Commission in honour of its chair, Florence Bird, was established on 3 February 1967. More than 900 people appeared at its public hearings over a period of six months. In addition to providing an overview of the status of women, the report tabled on 7 December 1970 included 167 recommendations for reducing gender inequality across the various spheres of Canadian society.
"Make way for magic! Make way for objective mysteries! Make way for Love! Make way for the real necessities!"
Most Canadians, if they have heard of Irene Parlby, know her as one of the "Famous Five." This group of five Alberta women were plaintiffs in a court case that argued women were indeed "persons" under the British North America Act and thus entitled to be named to the Canadian Senate.
Harriet Tubman, née Araminta "Minty" Ross, abolitionist, “conductor” of the Underground Railroad (born c. 1820 in Dorchester County, Maryland; died 10 March 1913 in Auburn, New York). Tubman escaped from enslavement in the southern United States and went on to become a leading abolitionist before the American Civil War. She led numerous enslaved persons to freedom in the “free” Northern states and Canada through the Underground Railroad — a secret network of routes and safe houses that helped people escape enslavement.
Although little is known about Chloe Cooley, an enslaved woman in Upper Canada, her struggles against her “owner,” Sergeant Adam Vrooman, precipitated the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada, 1793 — the first legislation in the British colonies to restrict the slave trade.
Viola Irene Desmond (née Davis), businesswoman, civil libertarian (born 6 July 1914 in Halifax, NS; died 7 February 1965 in New York, NY).
Josiah Henson, spiritual leader, author, founder of the Black community settlement at Dawn, Canada West (born 15 June 1789 in Charles County, Maryland; died 5 May 1883 in Dresden, ON). Born enslaved, Henson escaped to Canada in 1830.
Father David William Bauer, BASILIAN priest, educator, hockey coach (b at Kitchener, Ont 10 Nov 1925; d at Goderich, Ont 9 Nov 1988). Father Bauer came from a large hockey-loving family.
Adelaide Hoodless, née Hunter, educational reformer, founder of the Women's Institutes (b at St George, Canada W 26 Feb 1857; d at Toronto 26 Feb 1910).
Roy Miki, academic, poet, critic, editor, activist (born at Winnipeg, MB 10 Oct 1942).
The Society of Jesus was founded in Paris in 1534 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, a Spanish soldier who underwent a profound religious experience while recovering from serious wounds.
Jesuit Relations (Relations des jésuites), the voluminous annual documents sent from the Canadian mission of the Society of Jesus to its Paris office, 1632-72, compiled by missionaries in the field, edited by their Québec superior, and printed in France by Sébastien Cramoisy.
During the French regime Jesuits were granted considerable property and seigneuries, which they used for educational purposes and for their missions among Indigenous people.
Charles Lalemant, Jesuit missionary, first superior of the Jesuits at Québec (b at Paris, France 17 Nov 1587; d there 18 Nov 1674), brother of Jérôme Lalemant.
Michael Francis Fallon, Roman Catholic bishop (b at Kingston, Canada W 17 May 1867; d at London, Ont 22 Feb 1931).
Thérèse Casgrain, née Forget, CC, OBE, reformer, activist, feminist, politician (born 10 July 1896 in Montréal, QC; died 2 November 1981 in Montréal).
Charles James Stewart Bethune, clergyman, entomologist, educator (b in W Flamborough Twp, Upper Canada 11 Aug 1838; d at Toronto 18 Apr 1932). He was a graduate of Toronto's Upper Canada College and University of Toronto's Trinity College (BA 1859) and was ordained an Anglican priest in 1862.
Claire Bonenfant, CQ, bookseller, film director, feminist (born 27 June 1925 in Saint-Jean, Île d’Orléans, QC; died 29 September 1996).