II-110422.0 | Resident Doctors group, Montreal, QC, copied 1895

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Resident Doctors group, Montreal, QC, copied 1895
Wm. Notman & Son
1895, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
12.7 x 17.8 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Many women reformers believed that their sex should play a direct role in politics and business as well as in the social sphere in general. Was not Woman inherently pure by nature? Was she not ideally placed to make society healthier? From there to demanding the same opportunities of employment as men together with women's right to vote was no great leap for the ever-growing numbers of feminists, who leapt without hesitation. The new access to education had undoubtedly awakened the social conscience of some privileged women. Even domains hitherto sacred to men, such as medicine and the law, were being invaded.

  • What

    Spurred on by their participation in the wider reform movement and their success in political campaigns, women stated clearly their wish to have equal opportunities in society. More and more they were challenging the male bastions.

  • Where

    As a result of women's pressure, the male monopoly in the fields of education and employment was beginning to be challenged in every province. However, this progress was slower in the Maritimes and Quebec.

    The photograph shows a group of medical residents in Montreal. The liberal professions like law and medicine remained closed to women for a long time. Most universities too refused to take women, as did the professional associations.

  • When

    This photograph is dated 1895, the year when in Quebec only a very few anglophone women succeeded in becoming doctors. Bishop's University in Lennoxville had been accepting women in the faculty of medicine since 1889.

  • Who

    Maude Abbott (1869-1940), who was to become a world expert in the field of congenital heart disease, took her medical degree at Bishop's University in 1894.