Three photos

Three photos

Above: (1) " Bluebirds", nurses tending Canadian troops in Europe during the First World War, were the first women to vote legally in a Canadian federal election.
(2) Women had won full voting rights by 1918, after decades of petitions, lecture tours and various forms of political action.

1917 – Bluebirds at the Ballot Box
Before Confederation, women were not prevented from voting if they owned property, but few actually did, and fewer still voted, even if they could. After Confederation, though, women were legally excluded from voting. A women’s suffrage movement soon emerged throughout Canada to change that. After Confederation, women could legally vote for the first time in 1917, but only if they met the requirements of an exception made for military personnel. Bluebirds stationed in Europe met those requirements, and were probably the very first women to vote legally in a Canadian federal election. By 1918 women had the same right as men to vote in federal elections. In 1921, Agnes Macphail became the first woman elected as a member of Parliament.

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