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Canada's Centenary of Women's Right to Vote Coin

15 Apr 2021  Thu

In 1916, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta granted most women the right to vote in provincial elections, beginning the journey that would one day lead to securing voting rights for women across Canada. This hard-won victory in the Prairie Provinces was the result of years of campaigning by women’s groups, beginning as early as 1890.

This breakthrough was a critical turning point in the evolution of women’s rights and equality in Canada, though far from the end. The Royal Canadian Mint commemorated this historical moment with the 2016 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote Dollar 1 coin.

The obverse of the coin depicts Susanna Blunt designed portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which appears on all Canadian coins. The right-facing profile of the Queen is surrounded by the words ELIZABETH II behind her head on the left side of the coin and “D.G. REGINA” on the right side of the coin; D.G. REGINA, the abbreviated form of DEI GRATIA REGNA, is a Latin phrase that means “Queen by the grace of God”. Susanna Blunt’s initials “SB” are on the Queen’s right shoulder.

Designed by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw, the reverse of this 11-sided circulation coin depicts a woman casting a ballot while her young daughter looks on. The mother-daughter duo is dressed in clothing appropriate to the year 1916. McGaw’s initials appear to the right of the wooden ballot box. The inscriptions “WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE”, “DROIT DE VOTE DES FEMMES” and “1916-2016” also appear in the top portion of the coin.

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