Questions to ask yourself:
What changes in society brought a change in women’s right to vote? Why is voting important to society?
What you will be able to do:
Indicate individuals and groups involved in the First Wave of Feminism.
Indicate the demands of First Wave Feminists.
Indicate the relationship between Feminists and the State.
Explain the consequences of the First Wave of Feminism in Canada and Quebec.
This page is under construction:
The titles and quoted texts are from the document collection and slide documents listed below, and are only serving as a general structure to this page while we work on texts and activity suggestions.
First wave of Feminists?
"The first feminist groups in Canada were established in the 19th century, at the time of the industrial revolution, in what has become known as the first wave of Western feminism. In Québec, however, the feminist movement didn't truly get started until somewhat later." Earliest Feminists in Canada were generally Middle-Class Women "Dr. Emily Stowe was vitally interested in all matters relating to women, [and] came before the public as a lecturer upon topics then somewhat new, "Woman's Sphere" and "Women in the Professions."
Earliest Feminists in Canada also included Black abolitionists
"Early suffragists were typically white, middle-class women, many of whom believed that suffrage would increase the influence of their class and result in a better country. Many of these suffragists were not inclusive, however, and even advocated against non-white women getting the vote. Nonetheless, there were non-white advocates who fought for women’s suffrage such as Black abolitionists like Mary Ann Shadd. Shadd edited the Provincial Freeman and advocated for women’s rights."
Temperance Movement was a Key Issue.
"Throughout American [and Canadian!] history women have been involved in social clubs and charities, but the temperance movement not only allowed women to become participants in national politics, they were the driving force on this issue."
Opposition from Men and Women too.
"Wherever feminism reaps success or threatens the status quo, anti-feminist movements tend to arise. Allied, as they often have been with other defenses of existing privilege, they can be powerful.. Suffrage campaigners everywhere faced determined opposition. Its threat always informed their choice of tactics and arguments."
Feminists and the Vote in Canada - Who could vote first
It all started in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, then women were voting in federal elections too! What about Quebec women of the time?
Women Get the Vote in Quebec - Consequences and the Key Women in the Fight
Joining suffragists across Canada, the suffrage movement became active in Quebec in the early 20th century.
Ongoing Project: Tracing Black Histories in Quebec History
Note that we have added an example of Black presence found above into our program tracing document for this time period (1896-1945), and specifically in the program section on "Women’s struggles: a. Access to education ... c. Legal recognition d.Right to vote and to stand for election". ➦