Dr. Ruth Elwood Martin wins Governor General’s Award

Ruth Martin

Dr. Ruth Elwood Martin

Ruth Elwood Martin, a family physician and clinical faculty member in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, is the recipient of one of the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

These awards were created in 1979 to mark the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Persons Case, which changed the course of history for women in Canada. In 1929, after two years of legal debate, Canada’s highest court of appeal declared that the word “person” included both women and men. This decision, made by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain, allowed women to serve in the Senate. It also paved the way for women’s increased participation in public and political life. The case had been brought before the courts in 1927 by five Alberta women who became known as the “Famous Five.”

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Congratulations, Dr. Martin!