We are Persons

October 18th was “Persons day” in Canada. This marked the day in 1929 where a historic decision was handed down by Canada’s highest court of appeal. The decision included women in the legal definition of “persons”. This gave women the right to be appointed to the Senate of Canada and paved the way for women's participation in more spheres of influence.

Below is a pic of me and our youngest three daughters posing in front of the “famous five” statues in Calgary back in 2013. Their first visit there, my second. The first time I stumbled across these statues with a group of women of faith- I was awestruck. Literally.

What!?!?!? Women weren’t seen as legitimate, real “persons” in the eyes of the law?

It led me to study further on this movement in Canada, ( + the US and Australia who were two other trail blazing countries starting to roll the ball in this direction). It was one more monumental story in time that strengthened my resolve. It reaffirmed what I have been experiencing with various dreams and visions for the future I was receiving amidst scriptural truths that were jumping off the pages declaring freedom for all.

Imagine- To not be declared a person legally not so long ago and deemed simply property for the most part. Such a degrading reality of our past but it is still is a reality in many parts of the world today. 

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Equality can be experienced amidst our unique differences. Grateful for the many leaders throughout history like the "Famous 5" who did or do their part to lean into this story- our destiny.

I believe in restoration, justice and full equality for all.

Now our daughters are all grown up, ages 21,23,25 (and my stepdaughter not pictured here is 33 and I am going to be a grandma soon!). I long for the next generation to experience true freedom and equality as the norm, not the anomaly.

Politics cannot fix the great divide, but it’s a platform no doubt bring issues to the forefront. Religion with all our human attempts will not even come close to what we were designed for. The good news is that our Creator had the blueprint for equality,identity and destiny before the creation of the world:

...Let Us make mankind in our image, in the image of God He created them male and female...
— Genesis 1:26-27

Grateful for Jesus as He was and continues to be the greatest women's (and men's) Liberator of all mankind's history. He came to restore all that was lost in the fall, including the great divide between men and women. Sadly Christianity’s innumerable expressions of faith throughout history has failed to live up to the fullness of our calling.

Extreme patriarchy represents one massive outcome of the fall of mankind (Genesis 3:16). This was NOT a part of God's original design for us- Unity, true equality between men and women is.

The other extreme where we see women rise up and gang up against their male counterparts is also a travesty. Hate, anger and riots will never change a human’s heart let alone their actions.

Rather than turning my angst towards humanity or placing my hope in religious systems or political arenas, I’m choosing to trust in the One who will bring justice for all.

The Persons Case need not be relegated to a feel good historical marker in time, it should serve as a reminder that we can all do something to bring about justice through our own words, actions, thoughts or prayers. As the UN states on their website:

While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
— United Nations

You might not go down in history like the Famous Five and have a day named after your accomplishments, but what is stirring in your heart to make a difference in this world?

When we live our lives to an audience of One, we can know for sure that every word or action that is based in truth, love and grace will find purpose and meaning in this life and the life that is to come.


For Further Reading, here are just a few to mention related to the topic: