Women Belong in the House (and the Senate)
Big social changes were happening everywhere, and the changing roles of women were some of the biggest. By the time of the First World War, women were gaining influence both in the community and across the country. Most had obtained the right to vote in federal elections in 1918 and provincial elections in 1921.24. They were finding new ways to contribute to their communities (although they had always contributed considerably, it tended to be more in the private sphere of the home); In Murray River this meant starting up a chapter of the Women’s Institute. The Murray River W.I. was organized in 1914, to “provide a means for women to discuss rural problems and to acquire information regarding their responsibility as homemakers and citizens.” They were more than just a social organization; they contributed a lot to the community, helping to pay for street lights, sidewalks, and even rent for the Murray River library!25.
Oftentimes women don’t share their life stories, but we were lucky to find a couple of women who were willing to share their stories with us. Mabel Alley and Fannie Moore sat down with us and allowed us to interview them this past winter; click on their links to listen to them talk about living in the area! We also stumbled upon another lady who had no idea her life would be fodder for history, but who gives us a great window into her changing life in the early 1900's. For more on that, check out the next page!