Women's Rights in Canada

  • The Fair Employ Practices Act and Female Employee's Fair Remuneration Act are put into place

  • Charlotte Whitton becomes first female mayor of a major city

  • Ontario becomes first province to put equal pay legislature into effect

  • Elise Knott becomes the first Native American woman to be elected chief

  • Restrictions on employment of married women are removed

  • The Federal government passes the Female Employees Equal Pay Act

  • Ellen Fairclough becomes first female cabinet minister

  • Aboriginal peoples (including women) are allowed to vote

  • Birth control pills are available for sale

  • The Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on account of race, colour, nationality, ancestry, or place of origin, but not sex

  • Bill 16 is passed in Quebec's national assembly giving married women the same rights as their husbands

  • Prime Minister Lester Pearson establishes National Commission on the Status of Women

  • The new Federal Divorce Act establishes uniform divorce law, allowing for divorce on basis of marital breakdown, adultery, and mental or physical cruelty

  • Pierre Trudeau's government decriminalizes contraception and allows abortion

  • Royal Commission on the Status of Women recommends changes to the military to create equal conditions for all

  • Thirty-five women chain themselves to the parliamentary gallery as part of a two-day demonstration for abortion rights

  • The Federal government creates the cabinet portfolio of Minister Responsible for the Status of Women

  • Amendments to Canadian Labour Code prohibit discrimination on basis of sex and marital system and reinforce the provision of seventeen weeks of maternity leave

  • BC NDP MLA Rosemary Brown becomes first black woman in Canada to be elected to a provincial legislature

  • Income Tax Act allows deduction of cost of child care from income of working mothers

  • The first Canadian lesbian journal, Long Time Coming, is published by the group Montreal Gay Women

  • The first RCMP recruits begin training at Regina

  • The Native Women's Association of Canada is established

  • The Omnibus Bill is passed, eliminating pregnancy as a basis for layoff and dismissal

  • Judy Cameron becomes first female pilot hired by Air Canada

  • Jeanne Sauvé becomes first female speaker of house of Commons

  • Unemployment insurance is granted to women working with their husbands

  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom is adopted, including section 15, the Equality Clause

  • Bertha Wilson becomes first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court

  • The Criminal Code changes to replace rape with three categories of sexual assault, giving equal protection to men and women under law, and allowing spouses to charge each other with sexual assault

  • Jeanne Sauvé becomes first female Governor General

  • The Indian Act is amended giving aboriginal women the right to keep their Indian Status and pass it to their children if they marry a non-native man

  • Systematic discrimination in the hiring if a woman is considered unlawful

  • Supreme Court rules that sexual harassment is form of sexual discrimination

  • Abortion becomes legal in Canada

  • Sheila Hellstorm becomes first female Brigadier-General in the Canadian Armed Forces

  • Ethel Blondin becomes the first Indigenous woman to sit in the House of Commons

  • Audrey McLaughlin becomes first woman in Canada to lead a political Party

  • Supreme Court of Canada decides that sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination

  • Supreme Court rules a man has no right to veto a woman's abortion decision

  • Fourteen female engineering students are shot by a anti-feminist

  • Roberta Bondar becomes the first Canadian female astronaut

  • Canada wins the first Women's World Hockey Championship

  • Rita Johnston becomes Canada's first non-elected female premier

  • Supreme Court reaffirms that a fetus is not legally a person until it is born alive

  • Loise Frechette becomes the first female Canadian ambassador to the United Nations

  • Manon Rheaume becomes the first woman to play for a major juniour hockey team as a goalie

  • Catherine Callbeck becomes first elected female premier in Canada

  • Kim Campbell serves as Canada's first female Prime Minister

  • Lieutenant Governors in seven provinces and Governor General are women