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Preface to Legal Status of Canadian WomenHenrietta Muir Edwards' writing career began with her magazine Working Women of Canada, Canada's first magazine for working women. In addition, she compiled the chapter "Professions and Careers," as well as writing an essay entitled, "The Political Position of Canadian Women" for the book Women of Canada: Their Life and Work, which was published in 1901 by the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC). This book was the result of a Council deputation requesting that the women of Canada be properly represented at the Paris Exhibition. The Council was invited to prepare a handbook that presented the history, achievements, and position of Canadian women in society.

Title page of Legal Status of Canadian WomenDespite her previous literary endeavours, Edwards is perhaps known best for preparing two handbooks on legal matters affecting women in Canada. The first, published in 1908 by the NCWC, was entitled Legal Status of Canadian Women, and quoted actual excerpts from Dominion and Provincial laws. This booklet provided Canadian women with information on the laws that governed their lives, and informed them of their legal position regarding a variety of topics. For excerpts from the booklet, please explore the quicklinks located at the side of the page.

Doubtless, this was a very useful resource for women, because it provided a province-by-province breakdown of women's rights, enabling a woman to see her status, and how it compared to the status of women in other provinces.

Cover of Legal Status of Women in AlbertaEdwards' second legal handbook, Legal Status of Women in Alberta, was published in 1917. The information it contains is specific to Alberta, and is somewhat more comprehensive than the information published in her previous handbook. It is interesting to note that by 1917, certain improvements had been made in legislation affecting women. The handbook was republished in 1921.

 
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