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Documenting First Wave Feminisms

Documenting First Wave Feminisms: Volume II Canada - National and Transnational Contexts

Edited by Nancy M. Forestell
with Maureen Moynagh
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 352
  • Book Info
    Documenting First Wave Feminisms
    Book Description:

    Together with its first volume,Documenting First Wave Feminismsreveals a more nuanced picture, attentive to nationalism and transnationalism, of the first wave than has previously been understood.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6660-3
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Permissions
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. General Introduction Documenting First Wave Feminisms
    (pp. xvii-2)

    Documenting First Wave Feminismsis a two-volume collection of essays, pamphlets, manifestoes, memoirs, petitions, reports, and resolutions documenting the multiple forms of engagement and organizing within first wave feminism. Our project is not primarily about recuperation, an undertaking that cannot be embarked upon blithely given the deep implication of many first wave women in structures of privilege and empire building. Rather, we seek to make more readily available some of the documents of first wave feminism that make especially evident its international linkages and its engagement with categories of social location other than gender that were and continue to be...

  6. Volume Introduction: Canada – National and Transnational Contexts
    (pp. 3-20)

    In preparation for the Paris International Exhibition in 1900 a handbook entitledWomen of Canada: Their Life and Workwas compiled by the main umbrella group of female reform organizations in the country. This text documented the many and wide-ranging accomplishments of women in Canada as well as noted areas where they continued to face barriers or lacked particular rights. In effect it served as an extended summary of many of the important achievements of the women’s movement thus far and its future program of work. Of additional consequence, the views of women and of feminism presented in this handbook...


    • [PART ONE Introduction]
      (pp. 21-27)

      The above quotation is drawn from a land claim submitted to British colonial authorities by Nahnebahwequa, also known as Catherine Sutton, in 1860. An Anishinabe woman who married an English immigrant, William Sutton, Nahnebahwequa protested against the dispossession of land that she considered to be integral to her indigenous birthright and called attention to the discriminatory nature of colonial policy towards Aboriginal women in her situation.¹ By “marrying out” Nahnebahwequa and other Aboriginal women were informed that their claims to and (co-)ownership of ancestral lands were abrogated; this policy would continue to be enforced for the next century and a...

    • From “For a Reference” (c. 1860)
      (pp. 28-30)
      Nahnebahwequa and Catherine Sutton

      […] I wish it to be understood that in 1857 at the time of the land sale I was prepared to purchase the land but unfortunately I was an Indian — and as such according to the laws of the Indian Department I could not enjoy the privilege of being a land holder.

      And in 1858 I still had sufficient money left to pay the first installment. But in 1859 I could not do it. But if the department had paid my money claims I should have been prepared to meet their claims against me for the land.

      Before the time...

    • The Universal Sisterhood (189?)
      (pp. 31-33)
      Lucy Waterbury

      I am writing to you concerning your sister who is in great need. I met her in India a few years ago. She was only a child in years, but very old in suffering. At the age of twelve she was married and before she was thirteen became a mother. Lying on the floor of a mud hut, which was her home, she met excruciating pain, aggravated by every form of torture that ignorant women could devise. After cruel treatment too sickening for words, a slow fire blistered her body for purification, and she lay for three days in a...

    • “Address from the National Council of Women of Canada to Her Majesty the Queen” (1897)
      (pp. 33-35)
      Ishbel Gordon

      May it please Your Majesty — We, of the National Council of Women of Canada, a Society having for its aim the better application of the Golden Rule, and for its members all women within Your Majesty’s Canadian realm who will follow and embrace that aim, would add our tribute to that world-wide expression of loyalty and devotion which it is the joy and privilege of your subjects to render Your Majesty, on the happy occasion of the completion of the 60th year of your beneficent reign. Your Majesty’s reign has been marked by a maternal and social progress unparalleled in...

    • “The Indian Women of the Western Provinces” (1900)
      (pp. 35-37)
      Henriette Forget

      In the Canadian West, that is in Manitoba, the North-West Territories and British Columbia, there are 46,289 Indians, of whom only 10,061 are pagans. The rest belong to one or other of the Christian churches, the Roman Catholic Church heading the list with 16,606 adherents. The Indians live on “Reserves,” scattered at considerable distances apart over the area named, and are cared for by the Government in a very paternal fashion.

      Twenty-five years have elapsed since Canada adopted this policy, and the results of a quarter of a century’s contact with civilization are as evident from the condition of the...

    • “The Iroquois Women of Canada” (1900)
      (pp. 37-40)
      E. Pauline Johnson and Tekahionwake

      To the majority of English speaking people, an Indian is an Indian, an inadequate sort of person possessing a red brown skin, nomadic habits, and an inability for public affairs. That the various tribes and nations of the great Red population of America, differ as much one from another, as do the white races of Europe, is a thought that seldom occurs to those disinterested in the native of the western continent. Now, the average Englishman would take some offence if anyone were unable to discriminate between him and a Turk — though both “white;” and yet the ordinary individual seems...

    • “The Ladies Empire Club of London” (1904)
      (pp. 40-44)
      Lally Bernard

      During the season of 1902, made memorable by the festivities which attended the coronation of Edward the Seventh, the Ladies’ Empire Club sprang into existence under the auspices of the Victoria League, an organization of well-known women in the British Isles who joined forces with the idea of furthering the Imperial ideal in social as well as political circles.

      Lady Jersey, the Hon. Mrs Alfred Lyttelton (wife of the present Secretary for the Colonies), and Lady Mary Lygon, who is attached to the household of the Princess of Wales, were among those mainly instrumental in originating and carrying out the...

    • Letter from a Jamaican Immigrant to Lady Aberdeen (1910)
      (pp. 44-45)
      Catherine Hay

      May I please your ladyship to notice my brief and humble letter. Your appearance in Toronto a year ago was comfort to many strangers. I am a subject of Britain and native of Jamaica but according to the severe earthquake which we have had 3 years ago many of us have to leave as domestic for this country. Now we are badly used by the natives.

      I am writing to ask your advice and that is could you kindly tell me the meaning of Young Woman’s Christian Association? Does it mean protection of young women travelling abroad or is it...

    • From From Halifax to Vancouver (1912)
      (pp. 45-48)
      Bessie Pullen-Perry

      The interests of the first city of British America are not confined to the preservation of theentente cordialebetween the French and the English, nor to the study of past mismanaged municipal finance, nor to the fact that the citizens of Montreal have so impure a water supply that it is necessary to buy drinking water. The English-speaking inhabitants of Montreal have led the way in many intellectual movements resulting in benefit to the community, of which by far the most important has been the formation of theMen’s Canadian Clubs. It was found that business men, too fatigued...

    • “My Canadian Letter” (1915)
      (pp. 48-50)
      Gertrude Richardson

      I wonder whether I ought tell you some little happenings of our ordinary life, as I used to, before the Great War filled all our thoughts. I will just tell you about the “rural Survey” meetings. Some time ago, an expert (as he was called), came to Swan Valley to examine conditions. He must have made an exhaustive survey, for he is well acquainted with the economics, religion, educational, and political outlook. He has written a book which is very interesting and on Friday the meetings were held in Swan River, similar ones having been held earlier in the week...

    • “India and Canada” (1915)
      (pp. 50-53)
      Woman’s Century

      Speaking of the opportune arrival of the Indian troops in France Sir Francis Young said at a recent meeting of the Royal Colonial Institute: “Had we not been able to bring up these reinforcements from India, had our position there been so precarious that we could not afford to take them away and had we been under the necessity to send out more British troops to strengthen our position in India, then in all probability our troops in Flanders would not have been able to stay the German onrush, and our brave little army would have been swept off the...

    • “Our Imperial Obligations” (1915)
      (pp. 53-55)
      Constance Rudyard Boulton

      Today, with civilization, as we understand it, threatened to its very foundations, we have got to do some hard and accurate thinking. We can no longer afford to temporize and shift the issues.

      Life has suddenly become so tragic that we must repudiate our favorite theories unless they can be logically sustained in the fierce light of uncompromising facts. We are challenged to say to whom and what we declare our loyalty.

      We have got to make a glorious stand, neither turning to the right nor the left.

      In the days gone by, separated from the present by a hideous...

    • “Nationalism or Racialism?” (1918)
      (pp. 55-56)

      In our history books we learnt of the Stone Age, when each man lived alone, or with a mate in his own cave, and warred with all other cavemen. Then because man was not an animal, but had a soul and reason, the more intelligent men were strong minded enough to drop some of their own prejudices, and unite with others to combat wild beasts, and raise crops. So the world grew full of tiny clans, and central Africa to-day is still in the independent village age; but Europe, Asia and America have long since learned that union of races...

    • “Imperial or National?” (1918)
      (pp. 56-58)
      Henrietta Muir Edwards

      The action of the Executive of the IODE in withdrawing the whole Order from affiliation with the National Council of Women, is viewed by many daughters of the Order with surprise.

      The reason given does not seem satisfactory in view of the resolution passed at the Annual meeting of the National Council of Women [see below], in which assurance was given to the IODE that, the National Council of Women of Canada (representing every class of Canadian women) would act in this matter in unison with the other National Councils representing the rest of the women of the Empire.


    • “Resolutions Passed at the Conference on Citizen Rights of Women within the British Empire, July 9th and 10th 1925” (1925)
      (pp. 58-61)
      British Commonwealth League

      This Conference notes the pledge of the Government to deal with equal franchise and calls upon the Government to introduce and pass through all its stages a Bill establishing equal voting rights at the same age and on the same qualification for men and women in the next session of Parliament. This Conference would strongly deprecate attempts to link up the question of Equal Franchise with any controversial change in the existing system which would inevitably prejudice its chances of success.

      This Conference calls upon the British Government to amend the Government of India Act (1919) in such a way...

    • “The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire Discuss Weighty Problems” (1926)
      (pp. 61-62)
      Florence Custance

      The National Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire are, at the moment of writing, in session in St Johns, N.B. Among the weighty problems under their consideration are: Immigration, Combatting Communist Propaganda, especially in the schools, the Support of Militia and Defense, and the Publication of a Text Book explaining the significance and use of the Union Jack.

      A truly patriotic agenda, and no doubt one which gives joy to the heart of the militarist! But the Golden Rule, so often preached by our patriotic women, is never applied by themselves. They take it for...

    • “Address to the Annual Meeting of the Women’s Teacher’s Federation” (1940)
      (pp. 62-64)
      Cairine Wilson

      You probably know, I have been much interested in the plight of the refugees and we have been doing our utmost to alleviate the distress of some who have suffered under the Nazi regime, and hope to bring a few children to our land. According to our provincial regulations any children brought here must be placed in foster homes of the religion of their parents, but it has also been drawn to my attention that these children would naturally only know what was taught to them by parents or teachers, and that there was nothing to prevent a Roman Catholic...


    • [PART TWO Introduction]
      (pp. 65-74)

      Cross-border collaborations and connections were a key feature of first wave feminism in Canada from the outset and intensified over time. Women reformers here were enmeshed within and deeply influenced by an international network of activists in which ideas and organizational initiatives constantly circulated, albeit one in which feminists from Britain and the United States continued to dominate. Many also perceived themselves as part of a “global sisterhood” then being constituted, which as Leila Rupp and other scholars have noted espoused the principle of inclusiveness, but which in practice often perpetuated exclusiveness on the basis of race, class, religion, and...

    • “American Slavery” (1853)
      (pp. 75-77)
      Toronto Ladies Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Fugitives

      The following address to the Women of the United States has been prepared by the Toronto Ladies Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Fugitives. It is written in a good spirit, and contains suggestions which it is the legitimate province of women to carry out into practical action. Much may be effected by female influence, especially in family arrangements, and in the education of those who are to be the future legislators and the wives of legislators. There is about this address also what will commend it the more to the people of the United States – a plainness of...

    • “A Bazaar in Toronto for Frederick Douglass’ Paper, &c.” (1854)
      (pp. 77-79)
      Mary Ann Shadd Cary

      Since writing the remarks to be found in another column, proposing a Bazaar for theProvincial Freeman, we see it announced that Miss Julia Griffiths, an English lady, Secretary to the Rochester Female Anti-Slavery Society, and assistant in the office ofFrederick Douglass’ Paper, will open a Bazaar in Toronto, about the middle of this month, under the patronage of the Toronto Anti-Slavery Society, to dispose of the unsold English and Irish goods of the Rochester Fair!

      A lucky paper, that! The Rochester Bazaar is held every year for its support. It has, we are informed, a paying subscription list,...

    • “Lectures” (1855)
      (pp. 79-80)
      Mary Ann Shadd Cary

      The citizens of Toronto have had, during the past week, more than ordinary opportunities to become indoctrinated in the leading reforms now become popular elsewhere. The Rev. Mr Naurey held forth to a numerous congregation on Monday evening, on the condition and prospects of aliened Americans. The lecture throughout was a sensibleexposeof the workings of American despotism against the colored man of this continent, and a faithful delineation of the characteristics of those affected by it.

      The apathy, jealousies, cross-purposes, general want of harmony, and determined stand in direct opposition to what is clearly their true interests, were...

    • “What Is a Light Line Union? A Catechism” (188?)
      (pp. 80-82)
      Margaret C. Munns

      It is a union that gives five dollars to the work of the World’s WCTU and sends fifty cents to pay for a subscription toThe Tidingsfor a missionary or someone else in a foreign country.

      There is no limit to the number of lights a union may have. Some are double, some triple and some quadruple Light Line unions.

      Each union is urged to hold a meeting to which all the missionary societies in the community are invited. A good program is prepared, giving a word picture of the work of the WCTU in various countries. This may...

    • Organized Women’s Temperance Comes to Canada – 1874 (1893)
      (pp. 82-85)
      Letitia Youmans

      [...] But most memorable to me among the varied exercises was the woman’s temperance meeting announced for each afternoon at four o’clock. A tent, seating some two or three hundred was the place of resort. The meeting was for women only, to be conducted by themselves. It was understood that St Paul’s order was reversed, and that a man would not be suffered to speak in the church. Nevertheless, the brethren flocked in large numbers to be silent spectators of the proceedings, and stood in respectful silence outside.

      The canvas sides were rolled up for ventilation, so that the outside...

    • “When Will We See [Women in Universities]?” (1895)
      (pp. 85-88)
      Robertine Barry

      The other day a young woman got me to thinking, as we passed in front of that superb building called the University, about when we will see women admitted to take courses aimed at increasing their education and gaining them access to their rightful place in society.

      Half a century ago, such a proposal would have been considered complete nonsense; today, glancing around us, it is possible to recognize that the female sex has gained considerable knowledge in a few years.

      It is no longer a surprise that we wish to extend our aspirations beyond the limits of blessed ignorance...

    • Address to the Conference of the International Council of Women (1899)
      (pp. 88-90)
      Harriet Boomer

      Mrs Boomer, as substitute for Lady Aberdeen, President of the Canadian National Council of Women, said in acknowledging the greetings extended to the Canadian branch of the International Council of Women, that she was proud of the honoured position it held as second only upon the list of National Councils, that very position being a token that the women of Canada had been quick to recognize the power for good which must naturally result from organized and united effort, “the union of all for the good of all, and God over all,” a motto which best conveyed the true meaning...

    • “The Indian Committee” (1913)
      (pp. 90-91)
      Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire

      In the early days it was a much desired ambition on the part of the National Chapter to gain a foothold in India, and with that in view, a Committee was formed in 1902 with the following ladies as members: Mrs Percival Ridout, Convener; Mrs Walter Brown, Hon. Secretary; Lady Meredith, Mrs Homer Dickson, Mrs Edwin Baldwin, Mrs Stratford, Mrs Harris, Mrs Thompson, Miss Florence Dickson, Miss Carty. The work was naturally very difficult and somewhat discouraging owing to the fact that it had to be carried out entirely by correspondence, always the slowest and most arduous method of organization....

    • “Canada and Japan in Combination” (1915)
      (pp. 91-93)

      The words “Travellers’ Aid” recall to many Canadian travelers now the vision of a friendly looking woman at some railroad station, wearing a badge to show what her work is, and perhaps a ribbon to show whether she is attached to the staff of the YWCA or of some other body.

      This same brand of protection work is to be found also in Japan under YWCA auspices, and the following quotations from a Japanese newspaper show how vital a part this work plays in the modern life of Japan:

      “During June there has been opened at the Tokyo Central Station...

    • From The Canadian Mosaic, “Friendship House in Winnipeg” (1926)
      (pp. 93-96)
      Kate A. Foster

      Last year a new venture was launched by the Winnipeg YWCA known as the International Institute. The securing of a large building in the northern part of the city to be used as an educational, recreational and social centre for Foreign-Born girls from the country who came to Winnipeg to work in restaurants, factories or laundries was a long-cherished dream of the Winnipeg Association, but it was not until last Spring (1925) that 770 Flora Ave. was finally secured for the purpose. While it is very far from being the type of building dreamt of – it is but a modest...

    • “International Women’s Day Celebrations of To-day” (1928)
      (pp. 96-97)
      Woman Worker

      For twenty years, March 8th, International Women’s Day, has been celebrated by women the world over, and this for the purpose of demonstrating international unity and giving voice to those things which would help along that social process known as the emancipation of womanhood. For the first few years only small groups of women met in their annual celebrations. Now these celebrations are mass demonstrations in many countries.

      International Women’s Day owes its origin to a conference of Socialist and Labor Women which was held in Switzerland in 1907. While its founders could not possibly foretell the outcome of their...

    • “Soviet Union Inspires Canadian Working Women” (1930)
      (pp. 97-99)
      Canadian Working Women’s Delegation

      We working women from Canada coming from factory and mine districts, after having spent a few days in the Soviet Union and having seen for ourselves already a number of the features of the new life the working and peasant masses of the Soviet Union are building up (rest homes, nurseries, factories, co-operatives, trade schools, etc.), have no doubt in our minds whatever about the great success of the workers revolution.

      Though we know full well that the task of the Soviet workers is no easy one, that there are many hardships they are going through and must yet go...

    • Excerpt from Reminiscences (c. 1910s–1930s)
      (pp. 99-102)
      Anna Mokry

      [...] I was nineteen years of age when I came to Canada in 1912, in the company of other people from our village. I had no relatives in Canada. My father didn’t have the money to pay for my steamship ticket, so he had to borrow the necessary amount from a Jewish moneylender ... It was hoped that I would earn the money in Canada and send it to my father to repay the debt. My father had to put up our house and garden as security for the loan. [Mokry travelled by steamship to Halifax, then on to Winnipeg...

    • Letter from Mary McGeachy to Violet McNaughton (1931)
      (pp. 102-103)
      Mary McGeachy

      I am sending you for your information a memorandum on the closer collaboration of women in the work of the League of Nations. It is being sent out by the Secretary-General this week. We have been sending this memorandum to all the international organizations of women, to the chief national organizations which are not organized internationally, and to a certain number of individuals who will be interested in this matter. I have just been sending a copy to Mrs Chambers of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada, and I should be very glad to know from you what further steps...

    • “Goodwill” [illustration] (1937)
      (pp. 104-104)
    • “What Women’s Organizations Are Sponsoring Today in Geneva” (1939)
      (pp. 104-111)
      Dorothy Heneker

      A brilliant day of autumn sunshine at Geneva – a crowded Committee room in the new League buildings where a packed gallery of men and women, representative of organizations throughout the world, follows with eager interest the long discussion on the question of the “Status of Women” – below at two long tables sit official representatives and delegates from the Governments of many nations including women whose names have become world known.

      The discussion opens quietly – then gradually the interest quickens and the Chairman’s list of speakers increases. Miss Kerstin Nesselgren of Sweden rises and in her own wise and sagacious fashion...

    • “Message for the Newsletter of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs” (1938)
      (pp. 111-112)
      Cairine Wilson

      Each day the problem of the refugee becomes more acute and I am grateful for the opportunity of bringing some of the facts before my fellow members of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs.

      Canada, although one of the most sparsely settled countries in the world, has given practically no assistance to these unfortunate people and I cannot but feel the greatest admiration for the generous spirit shown by France, which has not refused the right of asylum to any refugee who has been proved to be a victim of political persecution. Not only did she receive...


    • [PART THREE Introduction]
      (pp. 113-118)

      The struggle to win the vote for women in Canada was especially protracted, taking place over the better part of a century. Years of intense agitation were followed by periods of quiescence and then the revitalization of organizational efforts under new leadership. Despite sustained opposition from a broad spectrum of male leaders and even some women, female activists sought to lay claim to full political citizenship. Feminists engaged in the campaign devised a plethora of arguments to garner support for their cause, but a central theme was the important role women could and should play in nation building. They contended...

    • “Petition for the Enfranchisement of Women” (1878)
      (pp. 119-119)
      Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Hantsport, Nova Scotia

      To the House of Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia in Parliament assembled:

      May it please your Honorable Body: The Petition of the WOMEN’s CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION and the undersigned residents of the Province of Nova Scotia, hereby sheweth:

      THAT WHEREAS, The Women of Nova Scotia compose, at least, one-half of the adult population, and in many cases have the required qualification, also contribute to the public revenue by direct and indirect taxation;

      AND WHEREAS, Women, equally with men, promote the growth and prosperity of the Commonwealth, and in mental, moral and educational endowments, and all that pertains to...

    • “A Century of Progress for Women in Canada” (1893)
      (pp. 119-123)
      Mary McDonnell

      It is difficult to realize the steady onward march of women of Canada during the last quarter century. Before that time women entered very few remunerative occupations, but now, with the progress of the modern industrial system, there appears to be no limit to their opportunities. The active interest women are taking in all the great questions of the day is in marked contrast to the apathy and indifference of twenty-five years ago.

      Our women have organized missionary, philanthropic, temperance, educational, and political associations on a scale of great magnitude, without much “blowing of trumpets or unseemly boasting.” The Canadian...

    • A Century of Progress: Discussion Continued (1893)
      (pp. 123-124)
      Emily Cummings

      We have other women in Canada besides white women, and I am going to tell you something about the Indian women. I visited some Indians two years ago who are now in the same condition that the Ontario Indians were one hundred years ago. I visited several tribes of Indians who in dress and habits were thorough savages. The women are intensely fond of their children, and if the children die they cut their legs in long gashes, and go around uttering piercing cries of sorrow. To appease the great spirit of the sun they chop off their fingers sometimes....

    • “Women’s Rights” and “Women’s Equal Rights” (1898)
      (pp. 124-128)
      Margrét Benedictsson

      Are women fit to receive equal rights, if they were immediately to be placed in their hands?

      Not as a whole, because women have collectively done very little to prepare themselves for that great change in their circumstances which undoubtedly will occur sooner or later. Hopefully it will not be decades before equal rights become not only the ideal property of a few individuals, but rather the real property of everyone – property which all know the value of and use sensibly and conscientiously.

      Those who have fought and struggled most and best for the rights of women have been men...

    • Report on Attendance at the International Woman Suffrage Alliance Conference (1906)
      (pp. 128-133)
      Flora MacDonald Denison

      I would like to speak tonight, about some Canadian women. I would like to tell you that we have had in Canada such splendid women as Dr Emily Stowe, Mary MacDonald, and Dr Stowe-Gullen, who have devoted much time and money to the cause, but as the President distinctly gave me to understand that my work tonight was to be a report of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance held in Copenhagen in August, I therefore take great pleasure in presenting it to you, especially so at this time when the press of Toronto has been so busy with adverse criticisms...

    • “One Woman’s Way of Thinking” (1911)
      (pp. 133-135)
      Lena Mortimer

      As I passed out through the crowd as it was dispersing on Sunday evening after the meeting at which Comrades Pettipiece and Fitzgerald were speaking on the Woman question, I chanced to hear a few remarks from some of the men that had been present at the meeting which struck me as rather amusing. One of the worthy bunch said in a rather sneering way: “What! Give the women a vote? Not much, their place is to stay at home and mind their business, let us men do all the voting.”

      To me, of course, it was the same old...

    • What Equal Suffrage Has Accomplished (1911/1912)
      (pp. 135-139)
      Sonya Leathes

      The Age of Consent has been raised to 18 in all states and countries where women obtained the parliamentary franchise, and mostly within the first legislature following upon their enfranchisement, i.e., New Zealand, all the States of Australia, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Finland and Norway. Bills are already pending in the newly enfranchised States of Washington and California to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18.

      Where women do not possess the power to directly control legislation the age of consent varies between 10 and 16 years. The only exceptions are Kansas, which possesses a very wide municipal...

    • “The Study Club” (1912)
      (pp. 139-142)
      Political Equality League, Victoria, British Columbia

      A very interesting meeting of the Study Club was held at the home of Mrs Baer, Vancouver Street, on Thursday afternoon, October 1. It was the first of a series to be held through the winter season, at which free and full discussion of various topics of interest to the “new woman” is being arranged for.

      The initial subject chosen for discussion was “Fundamental Reasons for the Enfranchisement of Women,” and everyone was requested to come primed with a “reason,” the meeting was of a very general, interesting and varied character, and as one lady expressed it, “We had to...

    • “Concerning Suffrage” (1913)
      (pp. 142-144)
      Florence Trenholme Cole

      You will permit me, I am sure, to elaborate a little on my remarks about female suffrage, remarks that served as the basis for your eloquent article of Monday last. To say that I accused the French women of this province of ignorance is to translate my thoughts in too crude a manner. I have far too much admiration and respect for my French sisters to express myself in that way. What I said was that our province is ruled by the countryside, and that the rural districts are so lacking in educational resources that it is doubtful democracy will...

    • “The Foreign Woman’s Franchise” (1916)
      (pp. 144-145)
      Francis Marion Beynon

      When a coincidence of engagements brought Sir Robert Borden and Mrs Nellie L. McClung to Winnipeg together recently Mrs McClung made use of the opportunity to ask the Premier to grant the federal franchise to all British and Canadian born women, excluding the foreign born women.

      In this Mrs McClung was speaking for herself alone and not for the organized women of the suffrage provinces, and its seems to me regrettable that she should have spoken at all in this vein without first having the request endorsed by the leading suffrage workers. Many of our women would probably believe, as...

    • “Mrs McClung’s Reply” (1917)
      (pp. 146-147)
      Nellie McClung

      Dear Miss Beynon: – I have read your editorial of December 27, and I am sorry to see that you stated my conclusion without stating my reason, but I have your kind letter inviting me to make reply, which I am glad to do.

      The going away of so many of our best and most public spirited men has changed the moral tone of our electorate. There are districts where almost all of the English speaking men have enlisted, leaving the Austrians and Germans in full numbers, and the indifferent ones of other nationalities. Now, I believe the German and Austrian...

    • “International Response to Women Gaining Federal Franchise in 1917” (1918)
      (pp. 147-148)
      Jus Suffragii

      The promised Canadian Federal Franchise Bill is disappointing, limiting Woman Suffrage to relations of soldiers. It is meeting with considerable opposition, and attempts are being made to widen it in the direction of universal Suffrage.

      The vicious principle of according a right which is based on justice and freedom for the individual, and should be given to women on the same terms as men, to a selected group of women, and on the ground of their male relations having performed some service to the State, is one that cannot be too strongly condemned, and whose very absurdity should surely be...

    • Letter to the Editor of Jus Suffragii (1918)
      (pp. 148-149)
      Constance Hamilton

      I note the leading article in theInternational Suffrage Newsof October 1st, in which you take exception to the War-time Election Act recently passed by Canada by the late Government.

      Suffragists in Canada are by no means unanimous in their objections to the Bill, many feeling it is not only fair and just, but eminently safe under prevailing conditions.

      To a full understanding of the Bill it is necessary to know something of the political situation existing at the time of its enactment.

      The country has just been passing through a difficult and chaotic period, now happily resolving itself...

    • “The Failure of the Suffrage Movement to Bring Freedom to Woman” (1928)
      (pp. 149-151)
      Harriet Prenter

      The great activity shown when occasion demands by political parties in their efforts to get the woman vote, brings to mind many of the promises and prophesies which were made by friends and foes in those not distant days when it required a little courage to wear a “votes for women” button.

      Of course the “Antis” sounded their usual alarm – the home would be destroyed – and one admits that many suffragists also showed their ignorance of the “world process” by their optimistic arguments along opposite lines. And after it was all over what happened?

      In the first place, the anti-suffragists...

    • Radio Address on Granting the Vote to Women in Quebec (1931)
      (pp. 151-154)
      Idola Saint-Jean

      Tomorrow the Legislature will for the fifth time receive a bill demanding suffrage for the women of this province. A just and legitimate demand which, if it is finally realized, will put the women of Quebec on an equal footing with their sisters in the other eight provinces of Canada.

      The women of Quebec were the first on the scene and as one looks back to the early pages of our history, we find them working with ardour at the admirable work of colonization.

      In all aspects of social life, they have been the valiant companions of men, always at...


    • [PART FOUR Introduction]
      (pp. 155-161)

      In a pamphlet produced by the Political Equality League of Manitoba in 1912, Nellie McClung declared, “No longer is the ideal woman the one who never lifts her eyes higher than the top pantry shelf nor allows her sympathy to extend past her own family. Women who believed they must sit down and be resigned are now rising up and being indignant. The new womanhood is the new citizenship.”¹ The new womanhood heralded by Nellie McClung and other Canadian first wave feminists referred to a more publicly engaged female population for whom citizenship represented “a sustained field of contest.”² Women...

    • Speech to the Aborigines’ Protection Society of London (1860)
      (pp. 162-164)
      Nahnebahwequa and Catherine Sutton

      “I felt rather a little cast down when I heard that in this large place, when you have a public meeting of this kind, a very few went; but I am glad to see with my own eyes there are such a number; and I am glad to find that there are friends to the poor Indians, to those that can’t help themselves — that people will rise and be the friend of the poor Indian, the poor destitute people that can’t help themselves. May God bless you. When I was first chosen by the council, my people thought that I...

    • “Women in Nation Building” (1890)
      (pp. 164-168)
      Annie Parker

      […] There are two features in nation-building which are peculiarly the work of woman, but which we are convinced have never yet received their just need of recognition, viz., the physical and the social. What is to be the physical character of the nation? Shall our sons and daughters be weak and nervous and puny of constitution, or, shall they have strength of bone and muscle and sinew, and vigor of brain? For answer we must look chiefly to the mothers. Whether we shall be a strong, pure, intellectual people depends most of all upon our women, and their just...

    • “Report of Chinese Rescue Home, Victoria, BC” (1892–1893)
      (pp. 168-170)
      Elizabeth Cantwell

      The time having come for the annual report, I recall the many mercies of the past year with devout gratitude to our heavenly Father.

      The case most requiring medical aid has been that of our bright little Jessie, who, we feared, was not only going to lose the sight of one eye, but that the eye itself would have to be removed; but I am thankful that, although the sight is impaired, it has recovered. Dr McKecknie most kindly gave her daily attendance for three or four weeks, and performed two operations. In the last he was assisted by Dr...

    • Chinese Empire Ladies Reform Association, Vancouver [illustration] (1904)
      (pp. 170-171)
    • From Open Trails (1912)
      (pp. 172-174)
      Emily Murphy and JANEY CANUCK

      There is no good and sufficient reason why I should not ride out and meet the Indians. They are to be the guests of the citizens during Fair Week, and I am a citizen even if I may not vote as to how I shall be taxed, or how I shall be hanged. Yes! I shall ride out, and say “Good welcome to this place!”

      There are seventy-five wagon loads of Indians in the procession, and I have the distinction of being the only citizen. I feel guiltily white. I ride ahead with the young men and the chiefs, up...

    • From Wheat and Women (1914)
      (pp. 174-177)
      Georgina Binnie-Clark

      […] The faithful chronicle of one’s own difficulties may at first though appear but a poor foundation for one’s hope and firm belief that agriculture will prove to be the high-road and foundation of wealth and independence for Woman, but the strength of a chain is in its weakest link. To command complete and uninterrupted success for an agricultural experiment on the Canadian prairie or anywhere else, a certain amount of training in the theory and practice of agriculture is necessary, and also some knowledge of stock-raising, capital in adequate relation to one’s proposition whether it is to be worked...

    • “The Foreigner” (1914)
      (pp. 177-178)
      Marion Francis Beynon

      In a recent issue of a certain daily paper there appeared a letter criticizing some of the pictures in the Winnipeg Art Gallery. To the writer’s opinion of art in general and the moral effect of this exhibit in particular we are utterly indifferent, but that any reputable newspaper should have allowed a certain sentence in that letter to pass censorship in this supposedly enlightened age is a matter of comment.

      The sentence to which we take very indignant exception is this: “It is also painful to think that the portraits of two negresses possibly late attendants in disorderly houses,...

    • “Local Council of Jewish Women (in Toronto)” (1915)
      (pp. 178-179)
      Lily B. Levetus

      Another year has been added to the life of our Toronto Council of Jewish Women, and we feel we are not only striving to make our Society a power for good in our own community, but eager, as a body, to work for the good of our city.

      It is gratifying to report that twenty-one members have been added to our membership list during the year, making a total of 115. Our Program Committee has helped to build up Council interest by inviting to our bi-monthly meetings, men and women of distinction and authority, who have given their wisest thought...

    • “African United Baptist Association an Organization Nova Scotia Should Be Proud of” (1920)
      (pp. 179-182)
      Mrs Donald Shaw

      The First Congress of Colored Women to Be Held in All Canada Assembles in Halifax. The Aims and Ambitions of This Splendid Band of Women Representing Nearly 40,000 Colored People in Nova Scotia.

      Halifax, which has already been the scene of many events that have been recorded in the history of the British Empire has added yet another page to her annals. On Thursday last, at the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church, took place the first congress of colored women which has been held, not only in Nova Scotia, but in the Dominion of Canada. Fifty delegates, representative women of the...

    • “The Pays Des Iroquois – The Six Nations of Grand River” (1923)
      (pp. 182-183)

      The Alliance has recently been asked to take up the question of certain alleged injustices suffered by the women of the Pays des Iroquois and the following details received in a letter sent to us in answer to some inquiries will probably be of interest to our readers.

      “The Six Nations are governed by the wise old laws of Hiawatha and his Chiefs, which are greatly admired. It is probably in memory of the woman who inspired Hiawatha and Dekanawideh to form (or renew) a League of Nations to preserve peace in the sixteenth century, that ever since thewomen...

    • “An Appeal to ‘Women of the World’” (1925)
      (pp. 183-184)
      Sarah Robertson Matheson

      May I on behalf of our sisters the Iroquois or Six Nations, women of Grand River, Ontario, protest against Canada’s recent deprivation of these good women’sImmemorial Rightswhich they have wisely and successfully used since, or even before, the time of their forbear Hiawatha?

      If this were required it would be seen what a great wrong has been done to these peaceful people – the world’sfirstLeague of Nations as inspired bya womanwhom they still call “the Great Mother.” They have always before chosen and nominated the Chiefs for the Council, and other rights and with their...

    • Letter to Rica Flemyng Gyll, British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society and Aborigines’ Protection Society (1925)
      (pp. 184-186)
      Emily General

      I cannot tell you very much because I don’t hear very much about my people, perhaps because I am so deeply absorbed in my studies.

      As for the folks who have been abused by our Government officials, I know little about. Mr S. Isaac was put in jail, as undoubtedly you have heard, for a little while but long before his times was up, they found out that he was not guilty and let him come back home.

      The mock council are working hard to accomplish something. They are going to build a road so they say through our (reserve)...

    • Petition to the Governor General of Canada Regarding Women as Persons (1927)
      (pp. 186-187)
      Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby

      As persons interested in the admission of women to the Senate of Canada, we do hereby request that you may be graciously pleased to refer to the Supreme Court of Canada for hearing, consideration and adjudication the following constitutional questions:

      1 Is power vested in the Governor-General in Council of Canada, or the Parliament of Canada or either of them, to appoint a female to the Senate of Canada?

      2 Is it constitutionally possible for the Parliament of Canada under the provision of the British North America Act, or otherwise, to make provision for the appointment of a female to...

    • Request to Appeal Supreme Court of Canada Decision to British Privy Council (1928)
      (pp. 187-188)
      Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby

      Sir: As persons interested in the admission of women to the Senate of Canada, we do hereby earnestly request that you may be graciously pleased to refer to the Judicial Committee of the Privy council an appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada delivered on April 24, 1928, at Ottawa with reference to the following question: – “Does the word ‘persons’ in Section 24 of the British North American Act, 1867, include female persons?”

      The question was answered in the negative by the Supreme Court.

      This appeal is respectfully referred for your consideration pursuant to Section 60 of...

    • Speech in the House of Commons on the Naturalization of Married Women (1927)
      (pp. 188-192)
      Agnes Macphail

      Right Hon. W.L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved that the house go into committee of supply.

      Miss A. MACPHAIL (Southeast Grey): Mr Speaker, there are many Canadian women who resent the injustice which women who are British subjects, but married to aliens, suffer in regard to naturalization. A woman may be a Canadian, she may be the grandchild of Canadians, but if she marries an alien she ceases to be a British subject. She may not resume her British nationality until her husband chooses to become naturalized; and if he dies or the marriage is dissolved the women remains an...

    • “Ship of State” [illustration] (1928)
      (pp. 193-193)
    • “Woman’s Place in a Democracy” (1941)
      (pp. 193-198)
      Thérèse Casgrain

      The usual words of welcome seem too weak to express the joy and comfort that your presence brings me. You bear active witness to the degree to which the problems of the moment interest and move you. With all the sociologists – and, my God, even without them – we know that the primordial role of women is that of guardian of the family. Alas, an arbitrary and artificial conception of the family has gained credence among many souls, even if for them the home immediately evokes not a living reality, not a human institution, but the puerile image of four walls...


    • [PART FIVE Introduction]
      (pp. 199-204)

      Over the course of the second half of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century, the women’s movement engaged in an extended campaign to elevate the moral tone of Canadian society. Feminists were by no means alone in this battle, and if anything male clergy, physicians, and civic leaders were more prominent, but far more than others they raised concerns specific to the situation of women and with a view to altering certain aspects of existing gender relations. The demand for a single moral standard was a key and for the most part unifying issue among...

    • “The Women’s Home of Halifax” (1880)
      (pp. 205-208)
      Women’s Christian Association of the City of Halifax

      Although, perhaps, we would all rather forget the things which are behind and reach forward to those which are before, yet we feel that it is needful for ourselves and only just to those who have so kindly assisted us during the past year, that we take a look back at what we have been doing.

      The working of the Woman’s Home has never given the Committee greater satisfaction than during the past year. The regulations have been better and on the whole the management has been more complete. The inmates have earned during the year $267.10.

      The Night School...

    • Letter from Emma Crosby to Mrs H.M. Leland, Secretary of the Hamilton Women’s Missionary Society (1881)
      (pp. 208-211)
      Emma Crosby

      Dear Madam, – Your kind letter of June 20th, written on behalf of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Churches of Hamilton, reached me a few days ago. I need not tell you that it was with great pleasure and thankfulness that we read it, and with much rejoicing that we found we were remembered so kindly in the prayers and givings of the ladies of your Society, and that the Lord had put it into your hearts to help on a work that lies so near our hearts, and so heavy on our hands, as our “Girls’ Home.” The...

    • Age of Consent (1896)
      (pp. 211-214)
      Julia Drummond

      Mrs Drummond (Montreal): We must all be glad that the present Minister of Justice, the Hon. Mr Dickey, is so much in sympathy with our endeavor to raise the standard of legislation regarding the most prevalent – in our estimation the most dangerous – form of evil, with which it has to deal.

      But while we are thankful for any raising of the standard, the time has hardly come when we can rest content, much less rejoice, over what has been attained. I would lay stress on just one or two points, in which, to many of us, the law of our...

    • “Social Purity” (1898)
      (pp. 214-220)
      Jessie C. Smith

      “A nation rises no higher than its mothers.”

      Would that these words might be printed indelibly on the mind of every woman, and burn like fire in her heart, giving her no rest day nor night, until she should recognize her own little individual responsibility before God as a factor in His work for the elevation of humanity, aye and in united work with her sisters, His most powerful agent on this earth.

      Let the few of us assembled here this afternoon bring home to ourselves our responsibility as co-workers with God – and I make no apology for the use...

    • From Sex Radicalism (1905)
      (pp. 220-222)
      Dora Forster and Kerr

      The sex forces will always be liable to produce disturbance and conflict as surely as electricity in the atmosphere under certain conditions gives the explosions of thunder and lightning. Sometimes the battle is in the mind of the individual, sometimes it is in the half-conscious rivalry of persons of the same sex, but under fully developed Puritanism it is more or less open war between men and women, with the priests encouraging it, as is their wont in all strife, and taking fees here and there for drawing up a partial truce, supposed to be a lasting Peace of God,...

    • “The White Slave Trade in Montreal” (1913)
      (pp. 223-224)

      There is vice here like there is in all big cities. Many are the young women who fall victim to it, whether through their own fault, through the fault of the pimps in the employ of houses of ill repute, or through the fault of public authorities. But vice has also elicited a generous and zealous dedication from some who are working to remedy the problem.

      The blame for these lamentable falls from grace belongs first of all to the young women themselves. Danger fascinates and attracts them; they go toward it like moths to the flame. The charming insect...

    • From One Woman’s Campaign for Social Purity and Social Reform (1913–1920)
      (pp. 224-228)
      Beatrice Brigden

      […] I returned from Toronto with a maturing social concern. There I became interested in city social problems. I first glimpsed slums as I walked through the old St John’s ward toward Eaton’s and Simpson’s. With a YWCA worker I visited factories, observed the utter lack of factory inspection, unsanitary conditions, the slavery of low wages, the indifference as to quality of product. To this day I eat chocolates with a certain distrust. Back in Brandon I became active in the Methodist Epworth League in which young people were now involving themselves in the social concerns of immigration and the...

    • From The Young Women’s Christian Association in Canada and Its Work (1919)
      (pp. 228-230)
      Una Saunders

      […] HOLIDAY CAMPS – For girls with limited means, the question of Summer Holiday is a very difficult one and many of them have been gladdened when they found the City Association to which they belonged, had a summer camp or cottage to which they could go. Calgary has one at Banff, Vancouver one at Whytecliff Beach, Montreal one in the Laurentians, to mention only a few renowned for especial beauty. Some City Associations also have a camp during the summer within car-fare distance, so that girls who cannot afford a real holiday may yet go and live out there and...

    • “Better and Fewer Babies” (1924)
      (pp. 230-232)
      Florence Rowe

      A young married woman came to me the other day and said: “I wish I knew how to avoid having babies.”

      I quoted: “The sky is falling I must go and tell the king.” “Good gracious I thought you both liked babies?”

      “So we do,” said my visitor. “Teddy thinks the world of the three we have, in fact, in fact he spoils them, but we don’t want any more. I don’t want to spend all my life bearing children. My mother had ten and you see what she is now. She is only fifty-two, but she looks like seventy-two.”...

    • “What Are We Going to Say to Our Young People?” (1934)
      (pp. 232-235)
      Helen MacMurchy

      We come back to the Canadian doctor’s question – “What are we going to say to our young people?”

      No wonder that he asked the question. Every member of the profession feels the pressure of demands never made before. Nor would any of us wish to deny them. Our young people have a right to know the truth. And the truth about this matter of birth control is that it is against one’s better judgment. It is unnatural. It is contrary to one’s higher instincts. It is repugnant to a member of the medical profession whose work and whose desire is...

    • “Miss Kydd’s Statement on Birth Control” (1934)
      (pp. 235-236)
      Winnifred Kydd

      As your President I feel compelled to make the following statement.

      The subject of Birth Control and Sterilization has never been passed upon by the National Council of Women of Canada, but the time has come when I honestly believe that, it is necessary for us to make our non-sectarian and non-political stand plain to our Federated Associations and the Public at Large. The proud boast of the National Council of Women has been that we are representative of the womanhood of this nation and that organizations of individuals federating with us have full political and sectarian immunity in discussion....


    • [PART SIX Introduction]
      (pp. 237-242)

      The above stanza is part of a poem entitled “Only a Working Girl,” by Belleville, Ontario, domestic servant and labour advocate Marie Joussaye that was published in 1886. Joussaye’s poem was aimed at encouraging women to join the Knights of Labor, a union organization that had originated in the United States and crossed the border into Canada in the early 1880s. In this specific stanza she argued that a woman’s femininity would not be harmed by “struggling for the right,” which referred to the reform efforts under way to improve the lives of labouring women. Women’s economic status and their...

    • “Organization Our Only Hope” (1883)
      (pp. 243-245)
      Katie McVicar

      On the 13th of April last I wrote you what I thought and still think, a very reasonable letter referring to the wages paid sewing girls in general, and those who work for wholesale houses in particular, and which you kindly published, and until last week I thought no notice had been taken of it, but in that I was mistaken, for I have it from first-class authority that assisted by our fathers, brothers and friends, we are going to organize, and none too soon say I, for the wholesale clothing manufacturers still continue to “do” the continent, at our...

    • “Organization for Girls” (1883)
      (pp. 245-246)
      Katie McVicar

      A very candid girl-friend of mine told me the other day that my letters toThe Palladiumso far did not amount to much. As they merely stated what every woman and majority of the men already knew, without showing how the situation could be bettered. Organization, she said, was all very well, but how were girls to accomplish it, were they to advertise mass meetings, mount platforms, and make speeches, if so the Canadian girls, at least, would never organize. I admit I could not solve the problem, while I was compelled to acknowledge the truth of her assertion....

    • From The Conditions of Female Labour in Ontario (1892)
      (pp. 246-250)
      Jean Thomson Scott

      It is appropriate that the first contribution to the University of Toronto Studies in Political Science from a lady graduate should concern itself with the labour of women and children in Ontario. It is to such careful examination by competent observers of the actual facts of industrial life, rather than to hasty and sentimental agitation, that we must look for permanent reform.

      The existing Factory Acts of Ontario are in some respects more stringent, in others more lax, than those of England, the parent of factory legislation. Taking the two essential points, theageof permissible child labour and the...

    • Length of Working Hours for Women and Children in Factories (1895)
      (pp. 250-257)
      National Council of Women of Canada

      Miss Agnes Maule Machar moved the following resolution: “That on account of the injurious consequences which naturally result from the present length of working hours, during which girls and women may be and are often employed in factories and stores, the Legislature be respectfully petitioned by the National Council of Women of Canada to limit the legal hours of such employment of women and girls and also children, to at most nine hours a day, and also to provide that a forewomen – who should always be employed to superintend female employees, should arrange for occasional rest and change of position,...

    • “Report on Mrs Paget’s Trip to Indian Reserves in Saskatchewan” (1912)
      (pp. 257-259)
      Amelia Paget

      Leaving Ottawa on Monday, the 3rd of June, I arrived in Winnipeg on the following Wednesday.

      As the object of my trip was to revive and conserve Indian handicrafts in as many places as it was possible to reach through every possible channel, my arrival was timed to be in Winnipeg before the departure of my father, Mr W.J. MacLean, to James Bay and other northern places at which the Indians of Treaty 9 were to be paid their annuities. His interest in the objects of the Guild has been most fruitful of results, and will be of much future...

    • “Women Organize an Employment League” (1913)
      (pp. 260-261)
      Helena Gutteridge

      A few weeks ago Sir Richard McBride, premier of British Columbia invited a number of representatives from various organizations and associations throughout the province to a conference with the executive council and himself to consider the situation brought about by the war, insofar as it affected financial conditions throughout the province. After earnest consideration and deliberation the conclusion arrived at and advised by Sir Richard McBride, was that “we must have courage and confidence.”

      That the possession of courage and confidence does not prove to be a talisman whereby to obtain food, clothing and shelter is easily seen, by the...

    • The Work of Women and Girls in the Department Stores of Winnipeg (1914)
      (pp. 261-265)
      Civic Committee of the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg

      The Civic Committee of the Women’s University Club beg to report on their work for the season 1913–14. In response to a circular sent out by the Executive of the Club, fifteen members volunteered for service on this committee, and the organization meeting was held on November 6th, 1913. The only instructions received from the Club were that this committee should proceed to make a study of some form of women’s work. Realizing that the committee included no trained social workers, and no members who were free to give a large amount of time to this study, it was...

    • “Orientals in Hotels Displace White Labor” (1915)
      (pp. 265-266)

      “I have no color prejudice, but I think in this case and in the interest of efficient white female labor in this city the board might put a white labor clause in the granting of hotel licenses, so that work being done by Chinese help to-day may be done by white women who are now out of employment.” In these words Miss Gutteridge, appearing on behalf of the Women’s Employment League before the license commissioners at the city hall last Wednesday afternoon, made her application. The board decided after some discussion, to hear the hotel point of view at their...

    • “Equal Pay–Equal Work” (1917)
      (pp. 266-268)
      Éva Circé-Côté

      Why are women who perform work that is as difficult as that of men not as well paid?

      The feminist question has become an economic question. Woman today is no longer claiming the right to work and it is foreseeable that before long she will be loudly demanding the right to rest. What she should demand is equal pay for equal work. One thing is certain and that is that if more women are being employed everywhere, they are not being paid as well as they once were, and they are still being paid less than men. The female cook...

    • Government Regulation of Female Migration (1920)
      (pp. 268-270)
      Kathleen Derry

      This newsletter, published each month, is primarily intended to be of assistance to the delegates and visitors to the First International Congress of Working Women, enabling them to keep in closer touch with each other.

      From Mrs Kathleen Derry, our Canadian correspondent, comes a letter, dated Oct. 25, telling of the efforts which the Canadian Government has been making to regulate the migration of women. She says:

      “I am forwarding to you a copy of a ‘Memorandum on the Migration of Women,’ which is of particular interest as it is a recent Law established for the protection of the women...

    • “The Economic Status of the Married Woman” (1925)
      (pp. 270-273)
      Irene Parlby

      Leading feminists in Europe many years ago recognized the fact that the economic position of the married woman had a very distinct bearing on the economic position of women who worked outside the home, whether at manual or intellectual labor.

      Because the work of the married woman in caring for her household was supposed to be a labor of love, and of no economic value, women had bred into them the idea that their labor was of inferior economic value to that of men; and when modern conditions forced them out of the home to make a living by the...

    • “The Need for Mass Work among Women” (1935)
      (pp. 274-276)
      Annie Buller

      I whole heartily agree with Comrade Smith’s report. Three of the basic points which standout very closely to me and which I have followed with particular interest are:

      1. The question of the People’s Party; 2. Trade union unity; 3. The fight against political reaction and for the legality of the Communist party.

      To carry into life recommendations of the report presented to us we will certainly have to mobilize the women as never before. We will not be able to carry out the decisions of the Seventh Congress of the C.I. [Communist International] and the decision of our last...

    • “Report of Committee on the Legal and Economic Status of University Women”, 1935–1936
      (pp. 276-280)
      Canadian Federation of University Women

      This committee of your Federation not only is recent in origin, but is one whose functions are not readily understood, and even if understood not readily carried out. This handicap has been in some measure responsible for the difficulty experienced in obtaining the accurate data which is required. Your convener told you last year and once more is compelled to admit that her contacts with active University women are not as widespread as she would desire. Names of members who were likely to be willing to conduct research into this subject have been kindly suggested by the executive committee. These...


    • [PART SEVEN Introduction]
      (pp. 281-286)

      In July 1937 women from countries bordering the Pacific rim gathered in Vancouver for a conference hosted by the Pan-Pacific Women’s Association. This organization encouraged greater cultural understanding between the nations represented and addressed a wide range of women’s issues of mutual concern. Against a backdrop of ever-growing international conflict, the promotion of peace proved one of the most pressing topics of discussion at this conference, as illustrated in a cartoon that appeared in theVancouver Sun. Drawing upon the phrase “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world,” the cartoon visually represented the PPWA as a mother attempting...

    • “Report of Provincial Superintendent on Peace and Arbitration” (1896)
      (pp. 287-289)
      Margaret McKay

      The many international and national congresses held during this year, testify to the advance the peace movement is making all over this round world. From far-away India comes the tidings of woman’s practical work along the lines. Belated Spain is drawing up her forces and taking a very unspanish view of the situation, in proof thereof we give the following from a Madrid journal: – “The Queen Regent has been chosen by the South American Republics of Ecuador, Columbia and Peru to act as arbitrator in determining a disputed portion of their respective boundaries.” “The world do move.” From the Sovereign...

    • Resolution Regarding the South African War (1899)
      (pp. 289-289)
      Ontario Women’s Christian Temperance Union

      Resolved, that we place on record our deep regrets that our country has recently deemed it necessary to engage in war, that we earnestly recommend the women in our country to proclaim the principles of peace, and that we do all in our power to discourage the fostering of the military spirit in our families, in our schools and in our churches and also resolved, that we favor the settlement of international disputes by arbitration instead of war....

    • Resolution and Discussion Regarding Canadian Contingent to the Transvaal (1899)
      (pp. 289-290)
      National Council of Women of Canada

      May I ask as a matter of urgency that resolution be considered which was adopted for recommendation to you at the Executive yesterday?Agreed.

      Resolved: – That a Standing Committee of the National Council of Women of Canada be appointed, which shall be empowered to offer assistance on behalf of the Women of Canada to the Dominion Government in making arrangements for the comfort of the Canadian Contingent, which is about to proceed to the Transvaal War; or to offer co-operation on behalf of the Council, now, or in the future, in any way that the Government may deem desirable.”


    • “Peace and Arbitration” (1907)
      (pp. 291-293)
      M. Gomar White

      In reviewing the work of the past year there seems to have been very little tangible result, and yet your Committee feels that progress has been made towards bringing this large and vital subject before the minds of the members of the council.

      The Convener accompanied by the convener of the National Council on this subject, Mrs A.T. Courtice, attended a Peace and Arbitration council, held at Mohonk Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, N.Y., in June last.

      The Convention called annually to meet at this beautiful summer resort, by Mr Charles Smiley, a Friend, has grown from a little party of...

    • War and Women (1914)
      (pp. 293-297)
      Flora MacDonald Denison

      In recent years it has dawned on the consciousness of all well-meaning people that war is not only Hell, kept alive and burning by hatred and malice, but that as malice and hatred can be evolved out of human beings by love and common sense, so war can be evolved out of nations by the same method.

      In a few short years so rapidly did this peace idea grow that in 1913 a palace of peace was actually dedicated to mankind in the city of The Hague in the quaint little country of Holland.

      Representative delegates congregated in that charming...

    • Letter Regarding Canadian Involvement in the Women’s Peace Conference (1915)
      (pp. 297-300)
      Adelaide Plumptre

      I am instructed as Secretary of the National Committee of Women for Patriotic Service in Canada to write to you as President of the International Congress of Women. The Committee of which I have the honour to be Secretary is composed as you will see by the enclosed circular of the presidents or their representatives of the nationally organized societies of women in Canada.

      Many of the women represented on this Committee have received invitations to be present, or to elect delegates to represent them at the Congress. None of these Canadian societies of women have felt able to accept...

    • A Participant’s View on the Women’s Peace Conference at the Hague (1915)
      (pp. 300-303)
      Julia Grace Wales

      One sunny afternoon in April a band of forty American women sailed away from New York on the Holland-American steamship Noordam, bound for the woman’s International Conference at the Hague.

      I should not be right in trying to tell you how all those women felt as we steamed out of the harbor: I may only speak for the few whose thoughts I had opportunity to know intimately. For one thing we felt that we were in a sense taking a leap in the dark: going against the advice of many people who thought our enterprise foolish, following a conviction which...

    • “The Cruelty of Conscription: A Letter to Women” (1917)
      (pp. 303-305)
      Gertrude Richardson

      The above lines were found on the body of the author, a young soldier, who died on the field of battle. He was killed in the Somme fighting last October.

      Well may we ask “Who made the Law?” – the law that drives such boys as these to death, with sorrow and wonder in their hearts.

      Women of Canada – in Ottawa to-day they are planning to thrust upon us this cursed law. Perhaps the hellish deed will be accomplished before your eyes fall upon this page!

      What shall we do? Are we calmly to submit when our boys are driven out...

    • From Woman and War (192?)
      (pp. 305-312)
      Rose Henderson

      If the women of the world are ever to organize themselves or their children for peace, they must become conscious of the forces making for war.

      Too long have women been fed on the romance and glory of war. Too long have its realities been hidden from them by hypocrisy and lies. The death agonies of the dying have been drowned by the din of martial music. The scars of body and soul have been covered up by gaudy uniforms, gold lace, plumes and medals.

      The war mongers have fooled and flattered women into the belief that their men folk...

    • “League of Nations” (1932)
      (pp. 312-315)
      Hilda C. Laird

      It is a great pleasure to be able to report that during the past year the Canadian Government has twice named women as members of important delegations to Geneva.

      Mrs H.P. Plumptre of Toronto was a member of the Canadian delegation to the Twelfth Assembly of the League of Nations in September 1931. She was, moreover, made “rapporteur” of the Fifth Committee of the Assembly and in that capacity presented the report on the traffic in women and children. Mrs Plumptre was one of three women to speak at a plenary session of the Assembly. Since her return she has...

    • Developing Public Opinion on Peace (1937)
      (pp. 315-318)
      Laura Jamieson

      First of all, I believe the best work in educating public opinion on Peace is done by organizations or groups whose specific aim is such education. Many organizations have Peace as a partial aim, or have a committee on Peace. Unless that committee is an extremely active one, the efforts toward peace are apt to be very superficial and usually spasmodic.

      Again, such organizations must be made up of members all of whom are devoted to the cause of peace. The great weakness of many of the League of Nations Societies is that they invariably have some members whose chief...

    • “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” [illustration] (1937)
      (pp. 319-320)
  14. Index
    (pp. 321-328)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 329-330)