What Role Did Women Play In The Decade Of 1920?

2372 words - 9 pages

The decade of the 1920s was a period of change. In Canada many famous and important events occurred during that time, for example Canada joined the League of Nations; The Indian Act was amended to give Canadian aboriginal peoples the right to vote; The Ottawa Senators won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Seattle Metropolitans. The discussed in the present essay is the first wave of feminism that was also taking place in that time. It was then that women openly realized that their political and economic situation was absolutely unsatisfactory, and they started to demand for same rights as men had, including the rights to vote and to get qualified jobs. But To what extent did the feminists of the 1920s achieve their goals? Women's status in the 1920s changed, yet their role was expected to be the same as before. Meaning that women got the right to be (almost) equal to men, but men expected women to remain housewives rather than economical partners or economically independent persons. Women were given the right to vote, to run for parliament, given an opportunity to work at many new types of industries. With their new opportunities women started to seek and explore more activeness in the society and many started exploring new areas of culture. By law women were allowed to run for Parliament but practically they were not welcome by their male comrades, which fact obviously demonstrated that many people were not in favour of the new enforcements. Men were prior to women when being chosen for a job by employers. In family life, they were expected to be doing the chores and taking care of the children, rather than economically maintain the family, which was no change from the good old times.Women were given the right to vote, to run for Parliament, as well as given an opportunity to work at many new types of industries. On May 24, 1918 the Canada Elections Act gave all women over 21 the right to vote. It was by the Dominion Elections Act that the uniform franchise was established on July 1st, 1920 and the right for women to be elected to Parliament was made permanent [1]. The 1920s was full of biographies of famous women that stood out and became pioneers of new areas of society, which previously had been unexplored by women. One of such women was Agnes MacPhail, who became the first female Member of Parliament, originally a schoolteacher in Ontario. She was elected in 1921, at the first federal election in which women were allowed the vote, and she successfully fought for old-age pensions, prison reform, and farmers' co-operatives. She was also the first female delegate to the League of Nations. In addition to that, she was representing women's issues and created the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada, an association that operates in the present and which goals have been to work with and for women and girls in the justice system, particularly those who are, or may be, criminalized [2]. Another big example of such women is Mary Ellen Smith, who was appointed...

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