No one should live in fear because to leave is shameful,

No one should be driven to suicide because of abuse,

No one should be forced to do things they don’t want to,

No one’s voice should be silenced  and,

No one should be denied basic human rights,

Not because of something as simple and uncontrollable as gender,

We are all human and we all deserve the same fundamental rights and freedoms.

Person’s day just passed, and I was a part of Zonta. Above is actually an edited version of my application to be our school’s Zonta’s vice president. For persons day, we organized a spirit day, where we asked students to dress in a particular colour to show their support for persons day.

I remember the first time I learned about the person’s case. I was shocked because even in 1920’s, women were not considered legal “persons” in Canada. And the Canadian government wouldn’t approve the already overdue change. They would not consider their sisters, wives, or mothers persons. How can half our species not be people?! Luckily, at the time a higher court existed, The Privy Council in England. They agreed that excluding women form politics on the grounds that they were not persons was old-fashioned, and it needed to be changed.

If the Privy Council had not existed, who knows how long it would have taken for me to be considered a person! For many young Canadians, realizing that even in the 1920’s, Canada would not consider women persons is shocking. It is hard to digest. Canada is known as a land of opportunity, but less then a century ago that opportunity did not fully extend to women. Even now, Canada is 30th on the list of the best places to be a woman. But that is much better than women not being considered persons.

So while Canada has a disappointing track record, and while it still has a long way to go, I believe we can do it. I am thankful that, thanks to the Famous Five, I can hold a seat in the senate and I am considered person. And I dream of a world where gender is not a factor in the ability to perform the duties related to any job. Because it really isn’t.

Image: Google, Wikipedia