Henrietta Muir Edwards (1849 - 1931)
Henrietta Muir Edwards was an activist, painter, author, and a member of the Famous Five. She advocated for divorce on equal grounds, mother’s allowances, improved working conditions for women, and prison reform.
- Edwards was a member of the Famous Five, who worked on a high profile Supreme Court case challenging the status of women in Canadian government. It established that Canadian women were entitled to the same rights as Canadian men in political office.
- She created her own institutions in order to get things done. In 1875 she and her sister formed the Working Girls Association in Montreal, which was an early prototype of the YWCA.
- Edwards co-founded the Victorian Order of Nurses and the National Council of Women in Canada.
- She wrote two books on the legal problems and inequality of women in Canada.
- Edwards argued that, “If women had the vote there would be no need to come twice asking for better legislation for women and children, no need to come again and again for the appointment of women inspectors where women and children are employed; we would not ask in vain for the raising of the wage or consent.”
- She was born in Montreal and later moved to Saskatchewan.