Annual Report 2015-2016

Since our last Annual Report, the NAWL Charitable Trust for Research and Education, with generous support from Shirley Greenberg, completed work on the development of its open access, bilingual online Feminist Law Reform Course. After a decade of federal government disinterest in, if not outright hostility to, democratic values of equality and inclusion, the NAWL online course is designed to rebuild the skills necessary to advance equality rights and to encourage public re-engagement in the Canadian legislative process.

In 2015/2016, NAWL continued to receive and respond to a number of requests to sign letters, co-author briefs, join various coalitions and make submissions before Parliamentary Committees. In the last year, NAWL has also taken an active leadership role in the work to ensure federal government funding for advocacy was restored. The following provides a sample of some of these activities:

  • NAWL joined other women leaders in signing the “Respect Women” letter in the final days of the Election in October, 2015 calling on “all leaders and public figures in the country to refrain from allowing the issue of the niqab to in any way create an atmosphere of intolerance and xenophobia in this country.”
  • NAWL contributed information about out organizational history for the archival website Rise Up: A digital archive of feminist activism in Canada 1970 to 1990.
  • Shortly after the election last fall, NAWL authored letters to the Minister of Justice and the Minister for Status of Women explaining the importance of state funding for feminist law reform advocacy and research. NAWL also co-authored a letter calling on the Federal government to restore funding for women’s equality advocacy and research with FAFIA, CRIAW, NWAC, LEAF and DAWN.
  • In collaboration with FAFIA, NAWL met with the Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women and the Department Head, to discuss the importance of reinstating funding for feminist law reform expertise in Canada. NAWL also authored its own letters to the Ministers of Justice and Status of Women on this issue.
  • NAWL took an active role at the AGM of the Court Challenges Program of Canada.
  • NAWL responded to an invitation by the Director of the University of Ottawa Human Rights, Research and Education Center to participate in the development of a strategy to promote and achieve Canada’s long-overdo adherence to the American Convention on Human Rights.
  • Finally, in the Spring of 2016, NAWL had representatives making submissions before two Parliamentary Committees, the Special Committee on Pay Equity (on proactive federal pay equity legislation), and the Standing Committee for Status of Women (on the impact of cyber-bullying on women and girls). Written submissions to these Committees can be accessed on the NAWL website.

Following Status of Women Minister Patty Hadju’s July, 2016 announcement that advocacy funding would be restored under the Women’s Program, NAWL is cautiously optimistic about the future of the organization. 

 

To read the complete Annual Report click here.