VICTORIA, B.C. – Sonia Furstenau, B.C. Green Spokesperson for gender equality, issued the following statement in recognition of Persons Day.
“On this day in 1929 the legal definition of ‘person’ was expanded to include women. That this occurred is a testament to the perseverance and advocacy of five Canadian women: Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, Nellie McClung and Henrietta Muir Edwards. Although this did not enshrine universal legal rights for all (it was not until 1960, for instance, that suffrage was extended to Indigenous people) it was a significant step towards achieving legal equality in Canada.
“We cannot honour the legacy of Persons Day without acknowledging that 89 years later we continue to fight for equality for all persons. Around the world legal inequality and disproportionate levels of violence and poverty are faced by women, girls, gender-diverse and LGBTQ+ people. This is especially true for people of colour, the differently abled, and Indigenous people. It is true in impoverished countries and in wealthy countries like our own.
“This is why we must carry forward the momentum of Persons Day and continue to address inequality. Every person in British Columbia deserves not only legal personhood, but an equal chance at a life free from violence, poverty and discrimination.
“Today I am humbled to take my seat in the legislature knowing that it is a right but also a privilege, one that would not have been possible without the advocacy of those before me. As we reflect on Persons Day my colleagues and I reaffirm our commitment to social, political, and economic equality for all.”
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