Activity cards: Women and the vote

Students will analyze the following pieces of information and sort them in one of the four ways to take civic action. 

Sign a petition

Individual women and men signed a petition in favour of Manitoba women getting the right to vote.

Collect signatures on a petition

Amelia Burritt, age 93, personally collected over 4, 000 names on a petition supporting Manitoba women’s right to vote.

Write articles for newspapers and magazines

Francis Marion Beynon wrote a regular “women’s page” for the Grain Growers Guide that highlighted equality issues.

Donate money to support the cause

Mary Hamble donated funds to the Manitoba Political Equality League, which promoted women’s right to vote.

Attend an event

Women and men showed their support for women’s right to vote by attending meetings, rallies, lectures and social events.

Create a group of local supporters

The Manitoba Political Equality League was founded to promote equality and obtain the right to vote for women in the province.

Join with national organizations

Local women’s groups worked with national organizations such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union to help further their cause.

Hold group activities

Manitoba women held social events or “Pink Teas” in their homes so women could discuss issues related to the struggle for equality.

Build alliances with others

Manitoba women’s groups got support from other organizations, such as the Manitoba Grain Growers Association.

Give public talks

Nellie McClung, a novelist and activist, went on speaking tours to promote her writings and women’s voting rights.

Create a publication

A monthly magazine, Freyja (which means “woman” in Icelandic), was published in Manitoba to educate readers about women’s rights.

Take part in public events

The Manitoba Political Equality League set up a booth at the Winnipeg Stampede, where they handed out pamphlets in favour of women getting the vote.

Attract attention through advertising

The Manitoba Political Equality League ordered 100 banners to hang on Winnipeg streetcars as rolling ads.

Use humour to get noticed

Women staged a mock parliament with a humorous debate on whether men should have the vote.

Collect signatures on a petition

Women brought petitions to church meetings, family gatherings and fall fairs where they could persuade a lot of people to sign.

Speak to the legislature

Leaders of various organizations gave inspiring speeches in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

Get involved in election campaigns

Women volunteered to help provincial electoral candidates who would, if elected, support women’s voting rights in the legislature.

Present a petition

A petition with over 40, 000 signatures was presented to the provincial premier to show there was political support for women’s voting rights.

Promote introduction of a bill

Activists convinced Premier Norris to introduce a bill in the Manitoba legislature to extend the vote to women in the province.

Contact an elected member

Women contacted all members of the Manitoba legislature to demand that women get the right to vote and to run as provincial candidates.