Women Win the Vote

A hundred years ago, women in Canada took the first steps towards full participation in political life.

Written by Cec Jennings

September 14, 2015

This video about McClung's Mock Parliament was produced by Equal Voice Experiences, with host Rachelle Bergen and author Charlotte Gray.

On January 27, 1916, women in Manitoba became the first in Canada to win the right to vote in provincial elections.

After years of lobbying by suffragists, the government of Tobias Norris voted unanimously to pass the women’s suffrage act. Alberta and Saskatchewan were quick to follow a few months later.

By 1918, all female British subjects over 21 could vote in Canadian federal elections. And by 1922, women could vote in most Canadian jurisdictions.

The exceptions were Quebec (1940) and Northwest Territories (1951). In Newfoundland, which was not yet part of Canada, women received the vote in 1925.

While it took only a few years for universal suffrage to gain hold, it took many decades to get to that point. The efforts made by Prairie suffragist Nellie McClung and others helped pave the way.

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