“Honey, you’re not a person, now get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!” If a husband were to say these words to his wife today, he would likely receive a well-deserved smack to the face. It is not until recently that Canadian women have received their status as people and obtained equal rights as men. Women were excluded from an academic education and received a lesser pay than their male counter parts. With the many hardships women had to face, women were considered the “slave of slaves” (Women’s Rights). In the past century, women have fought for their rights, transitioning women from the point of being a piece of property to “holding twenty-five percent of senior positions in Canada” (More women in top senior positions:
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However, most women did not come from wealthy families so they did not sign prenuptial contracts. Leaving them helpless until The Married Women’s Property Act was passed. The Act gave married women the same legal rights as white men, women were also allowed to make legal agreements and buy property. The Married Women’s Property Act also lead to the Deserted Wives’ Maintenance Act, which made husbands pay support if they left their wife. Women now had some rights but if they ever wanted major changes, they would need to make an impact on their government. To achieve this, women needed a way to vote in the federal elections. The Great War allowed some women the right to vote for their prime minister—for the change they have been waiting for.
In the early 1900’s a typical women’s life would have been to clean, cook and take care of the kids. This would soon change with the start of The Great War. In the first decade of a new century, the world plunged into a war. The start of World War 1 was a pivotal moment for the rights of Canadian women. Of Canada’s 7,500,000 citizens, 600,000 men were enlisted in the war (Historical Records of 600,000 Canadian WW1 Heroes). Women quickly began to fill the void of the jobs once dominated by males. “The number of women employed increased from 3,224,600 in July, 1914 to 4,814,600 in January 1918” (Women in the War). Half a million women filled positions in banks, offices, farms