Women and the Family

  • New SCC decision on economic rights in the family

    On January 25th, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that not extending spousal support and the division of property upon relationship breakdown to common-law couples, or de facto spouses, is constitutional.

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  • Economic Rights Within the Family Project

    With funding from The Law Foundation of Ontario, NAWL has developed A Women’s Guide to Money, Relationships and the Law in Ontario. This online tool responds to the need of young women to know more about their economic rights when entering and leaving common law relationships or marriages and the [...]

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  • Mother’s Day Statements

    NAWL celebrates Mother’s Day by bringing a message to Parliament Hill on behalf of women across the country.

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  • Not in the Best Interests of Women and Children - An Analysis of Bill 422: An Act to Amend the Divorce Act

    On June 16, 2009, Saskatoon-Wanuskawin Conservative Party MP Maurice Vellacott introduced Bill C-422 to the House of Commons. This Bill is the latest incarnation of a series of Bills, Motions and other legal and political maneouvrings that have attempted to eliminate the concepts of custody and access from the federal Divorce Act in favour of a presumption in favour of equal parenting.

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  • Abortion and Reproductive Rights

    Women’s reproductive rights, including the right to abortion, are increasingly under attack in North America. In 2006, the South Dakota Legislature voted a law that would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it was necessary to save a woman’s life. The law makes no exception [...]

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  • Faith-Based Arbitration

    In 2003, the Ontario Islamic Institute of Civil Justice announced that it would be offering a “Sharia Court” to Ontario Muslims. The “Sharia Court” would conduct binding arbitrations according to Islamic law.

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  • Custody and Access

    Women remain the primary caregivers of children. Women are more likely to abandon professional and economic benefits in order to facilitate that relationship. When they separate or divorce, women are far more likely to end up in poverty than their former male partners. Women are often victims of spousal violence [...]

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  • Matrimonial Property on Indian Reserves

    On Indian reserves, provincial law that usually applies to matrimonial property in case of separation or divorce does not apply. When women separate or divorce, they are left without the protection of the law. NAWL’s working group on Aboriginal Women’s Rights has urged the government to take action to remedy the situation.

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  • Same-Sex Marriage

    Not allowing lesbians to marry sends the message that lesbian relationships are not valuable or worthy of support. Lesbians want the ability to marry to obtain the benefits of marriage and also to change that historical message of exclusion. They also want to be recognized as mothers and co-parents.

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