Government of Canada marks the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in federal elections


May 24, 2018 

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

“The 100th anniversary of the first women in Canada winning the right to vote in federal elections is an important milestone for us all and a cause for celebration. It is also an important moment to remember that not all women won the right to vote in 1918, including Indigenous women, women of Asian descent, and others. It was not until 1960 that every woman in Canada would be free to vote in federal elections.

“Today, we celebrate just how far Canada has come in advancing gender equality for all women. Women are excelling as leaders in fields as diverse as business, politics, STEM and the skilled trades – fields from which they have been historically excluded. More and more, our voices and leadership are shaping the world we live in.

"We acknowledge this achievement in our country's history and remain mindful of the work remaining. As Canadians know, this is work we are committed to doing. It is why our government introduced Bill C-76 to ensure that Canadians, particularly those who have historically been marginalized, have fewer barriers to participating in their democratic institutions. It is why we are pleased that Bill C-25 – now passed into law – will increase diversity and women's representation on boards and in senior management positions. We are also providing $18 million in funding aimed directly at strengthening the participation of women in public life and in their communities, and investing another $5.2 million to promote Indigenous women’s engagement in politics; this is allowing us to support the work of organizations like Equal Voice, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, as well as Indigenous groups. In this way, the legacy of the early suffragists lives on in today’s activists and advocates, who continue to pave the way towards greater equality.

“Advancing gender equality and encouraging women’s leadership and democratic participation remain key priorities for our government. Working together with Canadians, we will continue to make progress and build a country defined by equality and inclusion for all. When our institutions better engage and reflect our diverse experiences, Canada's economy and communities prosper.”


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

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