This monument on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, created by Barbara Paterson in 2000 honours the „Famous 5“ – Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy and Henrietta Muir Edwards. Prior to 1928, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women were not eligible for appointment in the Senate because they were not seen as „qualified persons“ – the „Famous 5“ appealed this statement by going to the highest court in the British Empire. On October 18, 1929, the Privy Council reversed the decision made by the Supreme Court. The newspaper headline „Women are Persons!“ reflects some of the actual headlines of the day.
We joined these five women in their celebratory tea.
These five determined activists not only brought about the right for women to serve in the Senate, but they also paved the way for women to participate in other aspects of public life (Agnes MacPhail – first female member of Parliament; Ellen Fairclough – first female cabinet minister; Cairine Wilson – first female senator; Jeanne Sauvé – first female speaker of the House of Commons and first female governor general of Canade; Kim Campbell – first female prime minister of Canada; etc.).