Recent Events in History: Women’s Suffrage Movement

Written by: Julia DiPalo

This blog is so fitting for me to write because of the history nerd that I am! History has always been my favourite subject in school for as long as I remember. I grew up watching documentaries with my dad about the World Wars, the Cold War, ancient societies, as well as the Renaissance and loving every second of it! I believe, it is very important to study the past because history repeats itself just taking different forms. I will begin this segment of today in history in the late 19th century…

Woman Voting and Commemorating Women's Day in Retro DesignThe women’s suffrage movement was quite prominent in the late 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th century until women got the right to vote and very basic human rights. The women who were part of the women’s suffrage movement were often people of colour. Just after the Civil War in America when slaves were released, women and all people of colour wanted to gain the basic rights of being a human being in America and other places around the word.

In Canada, the women’s suffrage movement did not encompass many people of colour. It was more widely interested in the suffrage of white women and the fact that white women should have rights such as that to vote in elections and run for office. While the movement did very little for the lives of women of colour, it did make large strides for the white women of the time. The movement in Canada often wanted to put the importance of white Canadian women getting their rights over people of colour because of the possibility of racial degeneration. Racial degeneration is said to have been when white people and people of colour would have children, which would then, supposedly, degenerate the human race to a more primitive state.

I know you are probably reading through this and saying, “Julia where is the today in history part of this blog?” and that is a very good question, and the answer to that question is… 99 years ago on February 27th of 1917, Ontario white women gained the right to vote in provincial elections. While this is a very large deal in the history of Ontario and Canada, many people neglect to recognize the fact that this new right to vote in provincial elections came with a lot of restrictions and many women were not included, such as: immigrants, blacks, and women of certain financial circumstances.

While this piece of history is rather bittersweet; I thought it was important to show the good and the bad in this event. So everyone is left with an objective and well rounded idea of the women’s suffrage and women gaining the right to vote in Ontario elections.

That was my little segment of today in history, and feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or would just like to talk to me about it. You can do so at!

Come out to our International Women’s Day Film Screening
Tuesday, March 8th from 12pm-2pm in the front atrium!


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