The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Persons Day:
“Today, on Persons Day, we celebrate the courage of the Famous Five, whose landmark case helped pave the way for women to participate freely and equally in all aspects of life in Canada, including our democracy and our parliamentary institutions.
“In 1929, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, and Henrietta Muir Edwards successfully challenged a law that defined ‘persons’ as men and prohibited women from being appointed to the Senate of Canada. While their victory did not benefit all women and girls in Canada equally, it helped change the course of history and laid the foundations for the free country we know today.
“Nearly a century after the Famous Five’s victory, Canada continues to eliminate barriers that still exist for women. For example, our work toward $10-a-day child care right across the country has already helped women’s participation in the workforce reach record highs, and an enhanced Canada Child Benefit is putting more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families. Through the National Housing Strategy, 30 per cent of investments are dedicated specifically to projects aiming to reduce homelessness and improve housing for women and their children. And we are investing historic amounts to build a better Canada, free of gender-based violence, through our National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.
“We have made great progress since the Famous Five won their case, but we still have work to do to ensure that women and girls – in all their diversity – in Canada have equal opportunity. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I invite Canadians to learn more about the Famous Five, celebrate women’s contributions to our country, and work to support equal opportunities for everyone in Canada.”