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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Girard on the history of the law of married women's nationality in Canada

Also in the March 2013 issue of CHR, Philip Girard's

The abstract:
Canada's Naturalization Act 1881 followed Britain's lead in requiring a woman's nationality to conform to that of her husband. Analysis of the interwar campaign to change the law sheds light on the link between the status of women and dominion autonomy; the continuing reluctance to admit immigrant women to the full privileges of citizenship; the role of national women's organizations in maintaining Canada's future as a white settler nation; and the emergence of new ways of justifying and maintaining male legal privilege at a time when ideas about gender and marital equality were gaining some traction. By 1946, when Canada's Citizenship Act declared citizenship to be independent of marriage, and Canadian citizenship to be independent of British subject status, the emancipation of married women from their husbands' nationality tracked the disengagement of Canada from the British Empire.

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