Carolyn Bennett
Hon. Carolyn Bennett
Member of Parliament for Toronto—St. Paul's
Join us for a Virtual Town Hall on Persons Day: Sunday, October 18 @ 3PM
September 30, 2020

October 18 is Persons Day in Canada!

On October 18th,  please join us as Five Women will gather in honour of the Famous Five to discuss how we can ensure that the COVID recovery not only includes, but strengthens the position of women, both in Canada and around the globe.


  • Hon. Carolyn Bennett, MP for Toronto-St. Paul's and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
  • Hon. Karina Gould, MP for Burlington and Minister of International Development
  • Hon. Maryam Monsef, MP for Peterborough—Kawartha and Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
  • Sylvia Maracle, Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
  • Paulette Senior, CEO and President of the Canadian Women’s Foundation

The event will be streamed on our Facebook page live. If you have a question you would like answered by the panelists, please send your question in advance to [email protected].

We hope to see you there!

. . . . .

In 1927, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Henrietta Muir Edwards, now known as the Famous Five, posed a question to the Supreme Court of Canada: "Does the word 'person' in Section 24 of the British North America Act include female persons?"

After five weeks of debate, the Supreme Court decided that it did not. Shocked by the Court’s decision, the Famous Five took their case to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain in London. On October 18, 1929, Lord Sankey, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, announced: “The exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours. And to those who would ask why the word ‘person’ should include females, the obvious answer is, why should it not?”

While this decision was a milestone victory, it did not advance equality rights for all women in Canada. In the decades that followed, many inspiring Black, Indigenous, and women of colour, worked tirelessly to ensure that women, in all of their diversity, were able to participate equally in all aspects of life in Canada.

Women continue to be confronted by systemic barriers that limit their involvement and frustrate their success in both public and private life. COVID-19 has brought these barriers into sharp resolution, with women in Canada being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

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