Born: March 14,1868
Died: October 17, 1933
Place of Birth: Cookstown, Ontario
Emily Murphy was instrumental in getting women's rights recognized in Canada and around the world.
She came from a prominent family and had the benefit of parents who were supportive of her receiving an education.
In addition, she had a politician uncle who sparked her interest in politics.
From 1901 to 1914, she wrote several books and columns under the name "Janey Canuck".
In these books, unfortunate historically, Emily Murphy gave views which reflected that she was a racist.
Janey Canuck also riled against the use of the "deathly" drug marijuana.
She was one of the members of a group who worked on behalf of women and became known as the "Famous Five".
Her interest in women's rights was heightened when made aware of a case where the sale of a family farm gave all the
funds created by the sale to the husband and left the wife with nothing.
Working within a group called the Local Council of Women, Emily Murphy was successful in having herself
appointed to be a judge in 1916 becoming the first woman magistrate in the British Empire.
By 1917, an act called the "Dower Act" was passed in Alberta giving women one-third of property rights.
Although nominated to the Canadian Senate, she was turned down because she was a woman and the law did not recognize women as "persons".
Emily Murphy won her fight in 1929 to have the word "person" in the BNA Act refer to both men and women.
This meant that women in Canada were finally given the right to run for any electoral office.
For detailed research and more information, check out the following:
The Famous Five
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Last Updated: January 4, 2017
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