Members Statements: Recognizing Governor-General's Persons Award Recipients

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today marks the 81st anniversary of a landmark achievement in the battle for women's equality, the day that women were recognized as persons under Canadian law.

Our Famous Five were dedicated to women's equality and fought for the right of Canadian women to have a voice in Parliament. These women led the way for the appointment of Cairine Wilson to the Senate in 1930. Senator Wilson is honoured with a statue in the Senate lobby.

I would like to express my profound gratitude for the hard work and dedication of my fellow sisters, who are being recognized with the Governor General's Persons Award today: Marie Louise Fish, Lucille Harper, Kerline Joseph, Anne Michaud and Barbara Mowat. They have sought to make a difference in the lives of women.

Shamefully, women still make up only 22% of the members of the Canadian House of Commons. Governments across our nation must make the equal representation of women in places of power, influence and decision making a priority. Our failure to do so fails women's right to equality.