Column: #BecauseOfHer We Have a Voice

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: #BecauseOfHer We Have a Voice

Snippet: Do you know the name Nellie McClung? If you are a woman living in Canada, you should know it and the names of others like her who paved the way for the rights we take for granted. Without them, we might still be barefoot, pregnant and unable to cast a vote for the next election.

McClung was born Nellie Letitia Mooney on October 20, 1873 in Chatsworth, Ontario, far from the Maritimes, but her determination helped hold our government responsible for its people—all its people, both men and women. She was quoted as saying, “Never retract, never explain, never apologize–get things done and let them howl.”

The Election Act of the Dominion of Canada stated, “No woman, idiot, lunatic, or criminal shall vote.” In other words, the women who gave birth to the men running this country were no more worthy or intelligent than criminals and lunatics.

My grandmothers were young women when McClung and others were fighting for the right for all women to vote. They lived in rural communities, far from the debates and storefronts that promoted such issues. They were busy raising families and could not leave their homes to march in protests or risk spending weeks in jail. While my grandmothers may have not directly supported women suffrage, I often wondered what they thought about it.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

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