by Janet Ray
Emily Stowe (1831-1903) was brought up to consider herself her brothers' equal. Her education was thorough and after graduating from teacher's college, she was invited to Brantford, Ontario, to be the first female school principal in Canada.
Stowe, however, was determined to become a doctor. While teaching school and caring for her family, she studied for the medical entrance exams. Unable to study in Ontario universities, she trained in New York. She was the first woman to open a practice in Canada, but it still took thirteen years to persuade the medical establishment to grant her a license.
Encouraged by the American suffrage movement, Stowe and others founded a Canadian suffrage group in 1876. They succeeded in their efforts to establish a women's medical college in 1883, but Stowe did not live to see full suffrage granted to women. Her daughter, Augusta Stowe-Gullen, the first woman to graduate in medicine from a Canadian university, continued her mother's campaign.