Women's Suffrage

The Women of the First World War were able to vote in Federal elections because of The War Franchise Act which saw the temporary enfranchisement of soldiers’ female relatives—wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters. (Brookfield, 2008) This Act gave the hard-working women in Canada the ability to vote for the duration of the war. It however was an action which did not mean the same thing to politicians and suffragettes. (Brookfield, 2008) Political parties claimed a vote for their party was a vote for the end of the war and would secure the permanence of female voting rights. (Brookfield, 2008) The vote was something universally desired and no one wanted to be at war. Women jumped at the chance to use their newfound vote to prove they could do so responsibly. (Brookfield, 2008) The images below display a political flyer from the Union party regarding the act and nurses overseas exercising their voting franchise. Considering the above women were taking massive leaps in the right direction to secure the vote permanently!

This campaign flyer is a message from the Union Party of Canada administered by the party's Publicity Bureau in 1917. Targeting Canadian Women in relation to the War Franchise Act. It is endorsed by various women’s groups who are calling for “the full federal franchise to women”.  It gleams that men have made significant efforts for the war and Canada should maintain their trust, but also recognizes the significant role of women.  This source is ultimately significant as it outlines the feeling of the Union Party towards the act and the actions which led to women obtaining a limited right to vote and eventually the full right. It is also interesting to note that women’s contribution is mentioned parallel to a man. This leads to the understanding that it is because of the sacrifice of men that women were able to vote and is not based solely on female wartime contributions.

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