“When the history of suffrage is written, the role played by our politicians will cut a sad figure beside that of the women they insulted.” Speaking in 1935, feminist Idola Saint-Jean captured the bitter nature of Quebec women’s prolonged fight for the right to vote. To Be Equals in Our Own Country is a passionate yet even-handed account of the road to suffrage in Quebec, examining women’s political participation since winning the vote in 1940 and comparing their struggle to movements in other countries. This astute exploration of enfranchisement rightly recognizes suffrage as a fundamental question of human rights.
Denyse Baillargeon is a professor of history at the Université de Montréal. She is the author of several historical studies in French, translated as A Brief History of Women in Quebec (2014), Canadian Historical Association Clio-Québec prize winner Babies for the Nation: The Medicalization of Motherhood in Quebec, 1910–1970 (2009), and Making Do: Women, Family and Home in Montreal during the Great Depression (1999). Käthe Roth has been a literary translator, working mainly in historical non-fiction, for more than twenty-five years.