As we enter the month of March, we also welcome Women’s History Month. This is a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women throughout history and to honor the strides made towards gender equality. At Printer Refillers, we recognize the importance of this month and want to take the opportunity to highlight three important women in Canadian history who have made significant contributions to their respective fields.
- Viola Desmond Viola Desmond was a Black Canadian businesswoman and civil rights activist who became a symbol of the struggle against racial segregation in Canada. In 1946, Viola refused to leave a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theater, and was subsequently arrested and charged with tax evasion. Viola challenged her conviction in court and became the first Black woman in Canada to take legal action against racial discrimination. Although she did not win her case, her efforts and courage paved the way for the eventual abolition of segregation in Canada.
- Emily Murphy Emily Murphy was a Canadian women’s rights activist, jurist, and author who is best known for her role in the “Persons Case.” In 1927, Emily and four other women fought for the right of women to be recognized as “persons” under Canadian law. At the time, the law stated that only “qualified persons” were eligible for appointment to the Canadian Senate. Emily and her colleagues argued that this definition excluded women and therefore violated their rights as citizens. Their efforts were successful, and in 1929, the British Privy Council declared that women were indeed “persons” under Canadian law.
- Mary Ann Shadd Cary Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a Canadian-American anti-slavery activist, journalist, and educator. She was the first Black woman to publish a newspaper in North America and used her platform to advocate for the abolition of slavery and women’s rights. In 1853, Mary Ann moved to Canada and became the first woman to attend law school in the country. She later returned to the United States and continued to work for social justice until her death in 1893.
These women, and countless others, have made significant contributions to Canadian history and their legacies continue to inspire generations of women. At Printer Refillers, we believe that it is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women not just during Women’s History Month, but throughout the year. We are committed to promoting gender equality and empowering women in all aspects of life.