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Manitoba women were first to win right to vote 100 years ago

Social Movements

Photo by Bain News Service

A hundred years ago this week, the first group of women in Canada won the right to vote after a decades-long battle. It happened in Manitoba on January 28th, 1916; other provinces eventually followed suit.

Michael speaks with Joan Sangster about this little-known and seldom-taught chapter of Canadian history.

She is President of the Canadian Historical Association and a professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. She is also author of the first of a seven-volume series about the history of women’s suffrage in Canada, which UBC Press will publish in 2017.

To mark this centenary, we also unearthed a gem from the CBC Archives, from the CBC Television program In Touch.

In 1975, the late journalist and activist June Callwood interviewed Nellie Hall, who had been a militant suffragist. Ms. Hall was the god-daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, the founder and leader of the Women’s Social and Political Union, which spearheaded the suffrage movement in Britain.


Canada’s History magazine, formerly known as “The Beaver” is marking the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage with a special edition celebrating great Canadian women.

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