Alberta Labour Annual
Because the work of the married woman, in caring for her household,
was supposed to be a labor of love, and of no economic value . . .
women were at first content to sell their work at far below its real
value, and thus depress the wage scale for all workers. Today women
have proved themselves capable of entering many fields of labor,
manual and intellectual, in which men work, and their demand for equal
opportunity, and equal pay for equal work is being more and more
recognised. Until it is fully recognised, women's work will always
have a tendency to hold down the standard of wages, and displace men .
. . Perhaps no group of women have suffered more from this condition
of affairs than the Farm women. Certainly no group of women has
labored so hard so ungrudgingly and so unselfishly. And yet we know
for a fact that in many instances, not even the produce that they
raise by their own labor, can be sold and claimed as their own. Can
such a humiliating condition be conducive to a happy married life, or
a right environment in which to bring up children? And it is not so
uncommon a condition as might be supposed. Our law is little or no
protection to the married women; the Dower Act is of little value. The
Community Property Act introduced at the last session was the embryo
from which some satisfactory legislation may result. Modern conditions
must be faced, and the wife must not be placed in an inferior economic
position to the unmarried woman, because she gives herself to the
valuable and important work of caring for home and family.
Bill No. 54 of 1925: An Act Establishing Community Property as
between Husband and Wife. . . .
3. All property of the husband (or wife) owned by him (or her) before
marriage and that acquired afterward by gift . . . shall be his (or
her) separate property . . .
5. All other property acquired by either husband or wife, or both,
during the marriage, including the rents and profits of the separate
property of the husband and wife, shall be community property. . . .
8. The husband shall have the management and control of the community
property with the like absolute power of disposition, other than
testamentary, over community personal property as he has of his
separate estate; but he shall not sell, convey or encumber the
community real estate unless the wife joins with him in executing the
instrument of conveyance. . . .
—from a bill introduced into the Alberta Legislature in 1925, but
never passed into law.