IMPORTANT DAY IN HISTORY FOR SASKATCHEWAN WOMEN
"March 14th, 1916, women who were British citizens won the right to vote in Saskatchewan provincial elections.
it’s probably one of the most important historical dates for women living in Saskatchewan," Minister responsible for the Status of Women Joan Beatty said. "Winning the right to vote was a major step forward for Saskatchewan women and it became a stepping stone to even greater social reform and women's equity rights."
Prior to amending The Saskatchewan Elections Act, Saskatchewan's provincial elections were governed by the The Dominion Elections Act 1900, which also set the standards for federal elections. As stipulated in the Act, "No woman, idiot, lunatic or criminal shall vote". In addition, minorities excluded from voting in provincial elections were also excluded from voting in federal elections. Essentially, this left over half of all Canadians including visible minorities, women and Aboriginal people, without the democratic right to vote.
"Although it was Premier Walter Scott who had The Saskatchewan Elections Act amended to include women, we must also acknowledge the struggles of suffragettes such as Nellie McClung and Violet McNaughton who played such a major role in championing women's right to control their own destiny," Beatty said. "Over time, women subsequently won the right to legally own property, be guardians of their children, earn their own income and hold public office."
It was not long after women won the right to vote that Sarah Ramsland, in 1919, became the first woman elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature from what was then the riding of Pelly.