Government of Canada Commemorates Remarkable Contributions to Gender Equality on the Occasion of Persons Day 2017


October 18, 2017 

Ottawa, Ontario - The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, today issued the following statement:

“The Government of Canada invites all Canadians to celebrate Persons Day. On this special day, we commemorate the remarkable contributions of the ‘Famous Five’—Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, and Nellie McClung.

In 1929, against all odds, these five Canadian trailblazers fought for women to be declared ‘persons’ under our Constitution. It was this change that not only made it possible for women to be appointed to the Senate of Canada, but helped advance gender equality by ensuring women’s increased participation in public and political life. While the recognition of women as “persons” was a major milestone in Canadian history, many women in Canada of different backgrounds and ethnicities, including Canada's Indigenous Peoples, continued to face unnecessary barriers to fully realizing their rights

On Persons Day this year, let’s renew our commitment to making a difference in the lives of women and girls from coast to coast to coast. To create the inclusive, prosperous country we all desire, we must ensure everyone’s voice is heard regardless of their gender identity.

Our government invites you to use the hashtag #ClaimYourPlace to share inspiring stories of Canadians who have helped advance gender equality, in ways both large and small. Every step toward equality is worthy of celebration. 


Célia Canon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Léonie Roux
Public Affairs Officer
Status of Women Canada

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