1875 - Grace Annie Lockhart graduated from Mount
Allison University and was awarded the first university
degree to a woman.
1876 - A British common law ruling states that
"women are persons in matters of pains and penalties, but
are not persons in matters of rights and privileges."
1876 - Dr. Emily Howard Stowe and her daughter
Augusta Stowe Gullen form the Toronto Women's Literary Club,
a screen for suffrage activities.
1881 - Dr. Charlotte Ross becomes the first woman
to practice medicine in western Canada.
1883 - Dr. Augusta Stowe Gullen becomes the first
woman to graduate in medicine from a Canadian university,
Victoria College, Cobourg.
1885 - In Alberta, unmarried women property owners
gain the right to vote and hold office in school matters.
1895 - The Local Council of Women (Edmonton
Chapter) is organized by Lady Isabel Aberdeen, wife of the
1897 - Clara Brett Martin becomes the first woman
admitted to the profession of law in the British Empire.
1906 - Katherine Hughes joins the staff of the
Edmonton Bulletin as a journalist. She also becomes the
first provincial archivist for Alberta.
1908 - Gertrude Watt, women's editor and columnist
for the Edmonton Saturday News, forms the Edmonton Chapter
of the Canadian Women's Press Club.
1909 - At a joint convention, the Alberta and
Saskatchewan provincial Woman's Christian Temperance Union
pledges to work more actively for women's right to vote.
1910 - The Canadian government passes a new
Immigration Act that gives Cabinet the power to restrict the
landing of immigrants based on their "race . . ., class,
occupation or character".
1912 - The United Farmers of Alberta endorse
1916 - Manitoba becomes the first province to give
women the right to vote and hold provincial office.
1916 - Women gain the right to vote and run for
office in Saskatchewan provincial elections.
1916 - The Alberta Equal Suffrage Act gives women
'absolute equality' with men in provincial, municipal, and
school affairs, and thus permits women to vote and run for
office in all Alberta-based elections.
1916 - Emily Murphy, Edmonton, becomes the first
woman appointed as a magistrate in the British Empire.
1916 - The United Farm Women of Alberta is formed
with Irene Parlby as president.
1917 - Women gain the right to vote and run for
office in British Columbia provincial elections.
1917 - Women gain the right to vote and run for
office in Ontario provincial elections.
1917 - Louise McKinney and Roberta MacAdams from
Alberta become the first women elected to a provincial
1917 - Under the Wartime Elections Act, women in
the armed forces or with military relatives were given the
right to vote while citizens of 'enemy alien' birth were
1917 - The Dower Act is passed in Alberta
providing a wife with a life interest in a homestead that
cannot be disposed of without her consent.
1918 - Women gain the right to vote and run for
office in Nova Scotia provincial elections.
1918 - The Canada Elections Act gives all women
over 21 the federal vote.
1919 - Women gain the right to vote and run for
office in New Brunswick provincial elections.
1921 - Nellie McClung is elected as a Liberal
member in the Alberta Legislature.
1921 - Irene Parlby is appointed Minister without
Portfolio in the United Farmer's government, and thus
becomes the first woman in Alberta and the second woman in
the British Empire to serve as a cabinet minister.
1921 - Agnes McPhail of Ontario becomes the first
woman elected to the House of Commons.
1925 - Women gain the right to vote and run for
office in Newfoundland elections.
1927 - Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney,
Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung meet at Emily Murphy's house
in Edmonton to sign her petition regarding appointing women
to the Senate.
1928 - The Alberta government passes the Sexual
Sterilization Act, permitting a Eugenics Board to order the
sterilization of any person deemed to be "mentally
1928 - The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously
decides that women were not persons who could hold office as
Senators in Canada.
1929 - The British Privy Council reverses the
Supreme Court's 'Persons' Case decision.
1930 - The Honourable Cairine Wilson of Ontario
becomes the first female Senator in Canada.
1940 - Women gain the right to vote and run for
office in Quebec provincial elections.
1951 - Charlotte Whitton is elected Mayor of
Ottawa and the first female Mayor in Canada.
1957 - Ellen Louks Fairclough is the first woman
appointed to the federal cabinet.
1967 - A new point system immigration policy
eliminates discrimination based on race, religion or
1967 - Prime Minister Lester Pearson establishes a
Royal Commission on the Status of Women.
1971 - The federal government creates the cabinet
portfolio of Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.
1972 - The Alberta government overturns the Sexual
Sterilization Act. Since 1928, over 3,000 people have been
sterilized under the Act.
1974 - Pauline McGibbon, Lieutenant Governor of
Ontario, become the first woman appointed Lieutenant
Governor in Canada.
1982 - The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
is adopted, including Section15, the Equality Clause.
1984 - Jeanne Sauvé becomes the first woman
appointed Governor General of Canada.
1989 - Audrey McLaughlin, Member of Parliament
from the Yukon, is elected as the leader of the federal New
Democratic Party and becomes the first woman ever to lead a
national political party in Canada.
1991 - British Columbia's Rita Johnston becomes
Canada's first female premier, although not elected.
1993 - Catherine Callbeck is elected Premier of
Prince Edward Island. She becomes the first female Premier
elected in Canada.
1993 - Following a party leadership convention,
Kim Campbell becomes the first female Canadian Prime
1995 - Christine Silverberg, Calgary Chief of
Police, is the first female police chief in a major Canadian
1999 - The Famous 5 monument is unveiled at
Olympic Plaza in Calgary.
2000 - The Famous 5 monument is unveiled at
Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
2001 - Lieutenant Governors in seven Canadian
provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario,
Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) and the Governor
General of Canada are women.
2002 - Approximately one third of the Canadian
Senate are women.
2004 - The 75th Anniversary of the Persons' Case is commemorated.
2004 - To celebrate the leadership of the Famous 5, the Bank of Canada unveils a new $50 bill that showcases the Famous 5.