Canada honours 'Famous Five' women

The five women who worked to have Canadian women declared persons have been immortalized on Parliament Hill.

Thousands of people packed the Hill to watch as a bronze monument was unveiled amid great fanfare.

The "famous five" are Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung and Irene Parlby.

On Oct. 18, 1929, they won a landmark court ruling that recognized women as "persons" and allowed women to sit the Senate.

Oct. 18 is now known as Persons Day.

Crowds of school children cheered as descendents of the five were joined by Prime Minister Jean Chrtien and Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to officially cut the ribbon.

Clarkson said she hopes the monument will inspire people to continue the work of the five.

"Never retreat. Never explain. Never apologize," Clarkson said, repeating a quotation from McClung. "Get the thing done and let them howl."

The statues show the five sipping tea and looking at the document declaring "women are persons."

It marks the culmination of a five-year lobbying campaign by the Famous Five Foundation.

Until now, only monarchs, fathers of confederation and dead prime ministers have been depicted on the Hill.

Heritage Minister Sheila Copps says all Canadians have benefitted from the actions of the five women.