cgy-091010-famous-five-statue

Canadian artist Barbara Paterson has commemorated the Famous Five with two statues, one in downtown Calgary and the other on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. ((Courtesy of the Famous 5 Foundation))

The five Alberta women who won the right for women to be legally recognized as "persons" have been named honorary senators.

The Senate voted this week to bestow the honour posthumously on Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby.

The women, known as the Famous Five, won a landmark court ruling in 1929 that recognized women as persons and allowed them to sit in the appointed Senate.

The idea to name the women honorary senators came from Calgary journalist Catherine Ford.

"I thought, wouldn't that be just gracious of Canada as a country to say, 'These five women did so much for the women of Canada. Let's give them a singular honour.'"

Ford said she was "stunned" and "so pleased for women" when she heard the five were being recognized for their work. It's the first time the Senate has named anyone an honorary senator.