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Introduction

Roy (2010) admits that the history of women has a lot of unexplored facts, especially in regard to the period preceding the 20th century. She adds that women’s entry into the public life and their bold step of fighting for the rights and place in the society was a long process that was met by a lot of oppositions. Roy (2010) agrees that even as men continued oppressing women, their contribution was becoming increasingly numerous and diversified as early as the last quarter of the 19th century. Therefore, a solution was necessary to protect women from the difficulties they were facing. This is what prompted most women especially in Western nations and specifically in Canada to start fighting for their place in the society. The Canadian women have outlined their plans and gained a lot of achievements, during the last one hundred years.

Sangster (2011) notes that after a very long fight, in 1897, the Canadian women managed to have the first lawyer, Clara Brett Martin, who were the first woman in the field of law. She overcame all the oppositions based on the myth that women lawyers could only work to bring down their men counterpart by luring them to prostitution (Sangster 2011). However, Clara succeeded in her struggle by coming up with a bill seeking to change this myth. This was done in Ontario legislature, and allowed the women to pursue laws degree in Canadian colleges.

 According to Sangster (2011), 1909 also marked a great transformation in position of women in the Canadian society as it was declared a crime to abduct women. Before this, he says, the abduction of a woman aged 16 years and above was legal, except if she was an heiress.

After a long struggle, Cook, McLean, & O’Rourke (2003), note that the Canadian women obtained the right to vote in a federal election.  In 1921, the first woman MP Agnes Macpail spearheaded successful campaigns on prison reforms and the establishment of old age pensions. They also identified another successful move in the evolution of women when for the first time, in 1928, the women were included in Canada’s Olympic Team. He noted that Anna Dexter was proclaimed as a queen of the airwave this year.

In 1932, Dr. Elizabeth Bagshaws got an allowance to run the first family clinic in the country. This event was regarded as a prominent achievement of Canadian female. However, Sangster (2011) notes that the nurses worked in this hospital faced several arrests. They were accused of organizing trainings with the aim to make women knowledgeable of various methods of family planning. One of such woman was Dorothea who was based in Ottawa.

According to Cook, McLean, & O’Rourke (2003), that bold steps were evidences of accepting women’s labor and admitting them as functional members of the society. During the war, women replaced men working in different fields of industry. Additionally, they note that the enactment of the first equal pay legislation in Ontario was another major step in the long journey of evolution. Cook, McLean, & O’Rourke (2003) observe that only a year later all other provinces in Canada embraced the same. They further refer to the restrictions that had been put on the number of married women who could be in the federal public service. They were abolished again.

Sangster (2011) also points out the formation of women liberation clubs in high schools, colleges and universities during the same period of time as another major step in the evolution of Canadian woman. Sangster (2011) observes the amendment of 11 laws by the federal government in the point of equality for women. Providing equal rights to women and men in public pension was a considerable step in the history of the Canadian woman. This is a clear indication that change was taking root rapidly.

Sangster (2011) also notes that with the introduction of sexual assault laws in 1983, the forcing act of husbands to gain sexual favors from their wives was considered as rape. The Act was enacted to address the kind of sexual harassments that women are subjected to at their work places. Sangster (2011) notes that before the adoption of the Canadian Human Rights Act, women who were approached by their employers for sex had no option but risk to lose their jobs or to comply. The same problems waited these women at home as their husbands had the authority to beat them without having to face any trial.

Other achievements were realized as a result of allowing woman justice. Bertha Wilson, who had joined the country’s Supreme Court, managed to win a case considering the subject of equal employment terms for men and women.

Conclusion

The bold steps taken by the Canadian women are worth noting, taking into consideration the fact that women tend to cope with a lot of difficulties even in the case of serious suffering just to please their male counterparts. It is a fact that change does not come about easily; even embracing it when it finally comes is another big challenge. Breaking from traditionalism requires some bit of sacrifice, and this is what the Canadian woman realized. The case of Canada is a clear demonstration that if women are empowered appropriately, they are able to contribute immensely to the development of any nation.

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