Agnes Macphail was the first woman elected to Canada’s House of Commons, and after taking her seat early in 1922 she encountered many taunts and inappropriate treatment. Given current controversies surrounding the lewd behaviour and sexual assaults attributed to powerful men, it seems appropriate to recall Macphail’s demand for the full equality of women. One of her campaigns was to change divorce laws, which until that time had been tilted entirely toward husbands. These are brief excerpts from speeches Macphail made in the House of Commons regarding existing divorce laws.
I want for myself what I want for other women — absolute equality.