Emily Murphy: Canadian Women's Rights Activist

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Emily Murphy: Canadian Women's Rights Activist It was only in this century that women in Canada had equal rights as men. But this would never happen if women themselves would not start fighting for their rights. One of these women was Emily Murphy and her greatest achievement, Emily proved that women are `persons' and therefore they have the right to work in any political office. Her life and political career lead her to this achievement. Emily Gowan Ferguson was born on March 14, 1868 in a village of Cookstown. It was Uncle Thomas who was a politician and who influenced Emily's interest in politics. At fifteen Emily moved to Toronto and attended the Bishop Strachan School for Girls. Emily married Reverend Arthur Murphy in 1887 in Anglican church of St. John's in Cookstown and in 1904 she and her husband moved to Winnipeg. Mrs. Murphy "conducted the literary section of the Winnipeg Tribune for a few years before moving to Alberta in 1907." In her new home Emily became very active in civic affairs especially in law that would improve the rights of women and children. In 1900's in Alberta any man who, for example, had a farm and was married could sell that farm and leave his wife and children walking away with the money. Mrs. Murphy was angry that Alberta would allow such disgrace. In 1910 Emily was still fighting for the Dower Act "which would recognize a married woman's entitlement to a share of the common property in a marriage". For the first time the act was turned down, Emily not giving up tried very hard until 1911 when Dower Act was passed. "It provided that a wife must get a third of her husband's estate, even when he did not leave a will." It was a major victory fo... ... middle of paper ... ... died of diabetes... Emily died of diabetes but she was still part of many people who helped her achieving what she did. Some of these people were women like Mrs. Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Henriette Muir Edwards and Irene Parlby. Thanks to Judge Murphy Canada was the eighth country which gave women equal rights. Emily's accomplishments prove that she was a very hard working women with great courage but the most important thing she did not give up on anything that is why Mrs. Murphy achieved what she intended to achieve, women's freedom in Canada. Bibliography Cleverdon L. Catherine. The Women Suffrage Movement In Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto and Buffalo, 1975. Mander Christine. Emily Murphy: Rebel. Simon & Pierre, Toronto, 1985. "Women suffrage movement". Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia. Funk & Wagnalls Inc., 1986

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