Famous Five Challenge

Famous Five
The term "Famous Five" refers to the five women who took part in the "Persons Case."  In this famous legal battle, five women successfully convinced the British Empire's highest court that several Canadian governments were wrong when they interpreted the British North America Act to mean that women were not "persons."

The BNA Act, which was Canada's Constitution, held that "qualified Persons" could be appointed to the Senate. However, whenever the Act referred to an individual person, it used the word "he."  Many politicians and judges felt that this must mean that the words "qualified persons" referred only to men, and that therefore only men could be senators.

The Famous Five -- Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parlby and Louise McKinney – asked the Supreme Court of Canada and the Privy Council in England to rule on what the BNA Act really meant.  The Supreme Court held that the BNA Act's references to "persons" did not include women, but on appeal the Privy Council held that the Supreme Court was wrong, that women were indeed persons, and that this meant they could be appointed to the Senate or to any other position open to "persons." As well as leading the way in this case, the Famous Five were leaders in many reforms to laws affecting women and children.

The Famous Five Challenge and the Challenge supplement document are available from the Alberta Council website by clicking here.

To purchase the Famous 5 crest:

Contact the Alberta Council Guide Shop at (780) 424-5510 or fax (780) 4261715. Orders can be placed through email at info(@)albertagirlguides.com. Call/email for cost and a quote for shipping.
Orders must be paid prior to being shipped and can be paid by Visa, Mastercard, or Unit cheque. Cheques are payable to Girl Guides of Canada – Alberta Council.

For more information on the crest and challenge, contact:

Girl Guides of Canada - Alberta Provincial Council
11055 - 107 Street
Edmonton, AB T5H 2Z6
Phone (780) 424-5510
Fax (780) 426-1715
Email: info@albertagirlguides.com

Learn more about the Famous 5 with these resources: