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This section introduces readers to both champions and opponents of suffrage extension. This may mean little more than the bare bones story of an individual or organization, although at least one bibliographic reference is included. As with other posts, we limit contributions to 500 words, a length sufficient we hope to introduce the subject without pretending to be comprehensive. We have begun with better-known contributors to campaigns. We welcome additions. If readers have special family or other knowledge about participants, we would be particularly happy to include it as part of the recovery to which this site is dedicated.

Geneva Misener and W.H. Alexander: University of Alberta Classics Professors and Women’s Suffrage Activists, 1914 – 16

by Sarah Carter

On a cold February evening in 1914 Edmonton at a “rousing” meeting of the Equal Franchise League (EFL), University of Alberta Classics professor Geneva Misener “knocked down like nine pins one of the greatest arguments advanced against equal rights.” Also present that evening as chair and first president of the EFL was another Classics professor, William Hardy Alexander.

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Anna Heilman, a Holocaust Hero

by Georgina Taylor

In 2001, when Never Far Away: The Auschwitz Chronicle of Anna Heilman was launched in Ottawa, Heilman said her “older sister Estusia” was:

not only my sister and my best friend. She is also my hero. But who she was and what she did have meaning for more than me, her sister. As a Jew, she was a hero for all Jews. As a woman, she was a hero for all women. As a human being, she is a hero for all of us. Though she is known to history for her part and her fate, Estusia’s story has never been told. It is time.

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Gladys Strum (4 February 1906 – 15 August 2005)

by Georgina Taylor

Gladys Strum, who made an exceptional contribution to political life in Canada, joined the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) two years after the first convention in Regina in 1933. A down-to-earth farm woman from Windthorst in southeast Saskatchewan, she became a CCF candidate in seven elections, when women politicians were “vastly out-numbered,” between feminism’s first and second wave.

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Mothers of Medicare in Canada

by Georgina Taylor

Medicare is Canada’s most popular social program and various men have been identified as its progenitor including T.C. (Tommy) Douglas, Emmett Hall, and Paul Martin Sr. Although the charismatic Douglas is most frequently cited as the “father of medicare” in Canada, he did not see himself as a lone heroic man. He was fully aware of the many women and men who made critical contributions.

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Suffrage and the Temperance Movement in England and Beyond

by Cynthia Belaskie

One of the most famous marriages in women’s nineteenth century activism is that of suffrage and temperance. These causes had much in common: friends, money, political affiliations, tactics. Their relationship was certainly not perfect and rifts made headlines, but theirs was a relationship that mattered.

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Transgender Citizenship in Canada, and Beyond

by A.J. Lowik

A transgender is like a refugee without citizenship. S/he is without rights until a court grants them by categorizing him/her as either male or female. While outside of these categories, the transgender is most vulnerable and most likely to find him/herself without basic human rights (Bird 2002, quoted in Couch et al. 2008: 281).

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Valentine’s Day 1916, A Day of Triumph for The Women of Saskatchewan

by Georgina M. Taylor 

On Valentine’s Day in 1916 Saskatchewan suffragists converged on the Legislative Building in Regina. They had been invited to attend the Legislative Assembly by Walter Scott, the besieged Premier, who apparently hoped his invitation would be seen as chivalrous.

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Comics and Canadian Feminism: Willow Dawson’s Hyena in Petticoats and the Story of Suffragist Nellie McClung

by Sean Carleton

Historically, women have not fared well in comic books. As a traditionally male dominated medium, derogatory depictions of women figure prominently in both past and present comics.

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Essential’s Workshop — Port Coquitlam Women’s Campaign School

by Jessica Leis

I had a great opportunity to attend the condensed Women’s Campaign School “Essentials Workshop” in Port Coquitlam, an event put on by the Canadian Women Voters Congress, in partnership with the Young Women Civic Leaders and Mayor Greg Moore of the City of Port Coquitlam. 

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