January 28, 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Manitoba. Manitoba was the first province in Canada to provide women with the legal right to vote in elections, a trend that quickly spread across the country.
Student Vote Manitoba participants were invited to take part in the ‘Celebrating our Right to Vote’ multimedia contest to commemorate the anniversary of women’s right to vote and the pathway to universal suffrage.
The contest is divided into two categories – Visual/Multimedia and Written – and entries from elementary and high school students included posters, photos, videos, essays and any other creative content that celebrates the important milestone and encourages Manitobans to vote on election day.
Submissions were received from schools across the province, and CIVIX has selected one winner and one runner-up for each of the two categories. They will each receive a $100 gift certificate to Chapters/Indigo. Complete contest details are available here.
Here are the winning submissions from the Visual/Multimedia category:
Jenna from Linden Christian School in Winnipeg created a video on Nellie McClung.
Grade 5 students at Springfield Heights Elementary School in Winnipeg shared photos of posters they created about the The Famous Five.
Here are the winning submissions from the Written category:
Aleah from Riverbend Colony School in Carberry for her essay on Nellie McClung.
It has been one hundred years now that women have had a right to vote! I have looked into Nellie McClung, the order which provinces gave women the vote, and how voting changed women’s lives. These are important steps in achieving the vote for women everywhere. There is much to learn and know about the right to vote for women.
Nellie McClung was a women’s rights activist. She worked really hard to get women the right to vote. She married a man whose mother was very active in politics. She held a mock parliament where she was the Premier and men had to beg for her vote. She was really successful in the mock parliament.
The first province who gave the women the right vote was Manitoba in January 28th, 1916, closely followed by Saskatchewan and Alberta. British Columbia and Ontario were next in 1917, Nova Scotia in 1918, and a year later New Brunswick in 1919. Women could not run for New Brunswick provincial office until 1934, Prince Edward Island in 1922, and Newfoundland in 1925. Quebec was the last province in Canada to give women the right to vote in August 8th, 1944.
In this era women were serving in the war, taking over for the men in the factories and offices, holding families together while the men were overseas, and working in voluntary organizations so they couldn’t be kept out of political life any longer. Women took their voting responsibilities seriously and used their votes for what they wanted changed. As soon as women got the right to vote they abolished alcohol.
The right to vote really changed women lives. Women got the federal vote in three stages: 1) the military Votes Act of 1917 allowed nurses and women in the armed services to vote, 2) The Wartime Election Act on September 20, 1917 extended the vote to women who had husbands, sons and fathers serving overseas, 3) All the women over 21 were allowed to vote on January 1st, 1919.
I am very proud to live in Manitoba, because they gave women the right to vote first. I think everyone should know the history of women’s right to vote, and who fought for women to get these rights. It has been very interesting researching women’s right to vote. If had have lived back then, I would probably not have had the courage to stand up and fight for women’s rights as Nellie McClung and countless others had.
Grade 9 and 10 students at West Valley School in Darlingford created a presentation on the Famous Five, and also include soapstone carvings of the provincial party logos.
The complete presentation can be accessed here.