Women’s Global Charter for Humanity

The World March of Women is a global feminist action network supported by close to 6000 women’s groups in 163 countries and territories throughout the world. Its primary objective is to fight poverty and violence against women. In December 2004, following a long process of consultation, discussion and debate with women’s groups in 60 countries, […]

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Government Inaction on Pay Equity

Federal sector workers have been fighting since 1977 to get their employers – Bell Canada, Telus, Canada Post, Air Canada, and the Treasury Board, for example – to meet their pay equity obligations. They have been waging epic battles, some lasting 10, 15, and even 20 years, against these big companies. The failure of the […]

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Coalition for Women’s Equality Makes Encouraging Progress / Bilan encourageant des activités de l

This is a good time to review the agenda and accomplishments of the Coalition for Women’s Equality. Formed in the fall of 2003, the Coalition for Women’s Equality (CWE) works with all political parties to create mechanisms that will ensure that the government delivers on the equality guarantees for women set out in the Canadian […]

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Supreme Court Decision Gives Some Mothers Reason to Celebrate

Twenty years after the Charter’s equality guarantee came into effect, the Supreme Court of Canada breathed some life into the concept of substantive equality as it pertains to bearing and caring for children. We might even look at this decision as coming full circle, back to 1989 when the Court first pronounced in Brooks v. […]

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Ontario: One Family Law for All

At issue was a proposal to bring faith-based arbitration to family law in Ontario. Thanks to the power of grassroots activism, encouragement from international organizations, and strong support from prominent and ordinary citizens, the coalition of organizations for No Religious Arbitration including the National Association of Women and the Law was able to convince the […]

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Marriage, Homophobia, and Substantive Equality

Marriage, Homophobia, and Substantive Equality Mariage, homophobie et égalité véritable The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Same-Sex Marriage came as no surprise to anybody – or at least to those familiar with the Court’s obligations in interpreting and applying Charter rights and freedoms, and the relative ease that it […]

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At The Heart of Human Rights: A campaign for a Pay Equity Law

“The time for pay equity is now!” That’s the message of the Pay Equity Network (PEN), which includes NAWL, as it launches its campaign for the adoption of a pay equity law. This cross-country campaign aims to pressure the federal government to adopt the recommendations of the Pay Equity Task Force. The PEN is a […]

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Balancing Budgets on the backs of women: Pay Equity Post-NAPE

“It is unacceptable that governments are now authorized to balance their budgets on the backs of women” On December 10th, 2004, International Human Rights Day, women’s organizations, labour unions and other community groups publicly expressed their disappointment and sense of betrayal following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in NAPE v. Newfoundland. The Court in […]

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NAWL Charitable Trust Essay Competition: Congratulations!

We are pleased to announce and congratulate the winners of the NAWL Charitable Trust 17th Essay Competition. First prize winner is Kathy Grant for her paper entitled “A New Constitutional Home for Substantive Justice for Women: Deconstructing Firewalls and Stoking the Hearth of Section 7 of the Charter”. Honourable mention goes to Karen Mirsky for […]

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Working Together for Women on Parliament Hill

The Coalition for Women’s Equality (CWE) is made up of autonomous equality seeking women’s organizations that came together before the last election to advocate for stable and effective federal mechanisms to achieve women’s equality. Coalition Members include the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL), Womenspace, the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), the […]

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An Open Letter Opposing the Use of Arbitration & Faith-Based Tribunals in Family Law in Ontario

February 24 2005 Honorable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario Honorable Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario Honorable Sandra Pupatello, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues I am writing on behalf of the National Association of Women and the Law, in response to Marion Boyd’s report entitled “Protecting choice, Promoting Inclusion”. NAWL participated in Ms Boyd’s consultation, […]

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How a Wee Campaign Nudged a Law of Science

The principle of erosion holds that over time, forces of nature will erode even the most calloused of surfaces. Soft layers erode faster than hard layers. But the world and its atmosphere are unpredictable, the barriers to women’s equality can hardly be deemed soft, and social justice does not adhere to any precise law of […]

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The Arbitrariness of Ontario’s Arbitration Act: Examining the Impact on Women

In many parts of the world, religious groups have been working to implement policies that would influence the manner in which society is run. It has been argued that this use of religion for political influence threatens to undermine hard won entitlements to equality and basic human rights. In Canada, much media attention has recently […]

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Jurisdiction of Maternity and Parental Benefits Lies with the Provinces / Les prestations de materni

On January 27, 2004, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled that the maternity benefits and parental benefits provisions of the Employment Insurance Act encroach upon provincial jurisdiction and are beyond the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada. This decision calls for action by us, since the funding of maternity leaves and parental leaves is a […]

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LEAF and Women’s Economic Equality Rights: Reflections on a Pay Equity Case and an Equality-Rights Conference

On May 12th of this year, the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada to argue in support of the need to protect and advance women’s equality rights in the context of a pay equity case, Newfoundland Association of Public Employees (NAPE) v. Newfoundland [2004]. At issue in […]

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Women’s Voices in the Struggle for Family Law Legal Aid: A Matter of Justice

“It is a matter of justice! Legal Aid for women is not only a matter of equality as it is one of rights.” – Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, recently retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Many years ago, West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) identified access to legal aid in family law matters […]

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Pay Attention to Pay Inequity

Despite over twenty-five years legislation, women living in Canada still earn less than men regardless of their occupation, age or education. On average, a woman earns 72.5 cents for every dollar that a man earns. This wage gap is even greater for Aboriginal women, immigrant women and women of colour. Over the next few months, […]

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Should Feminists Care About Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples?

Equal marriage for same sex couples developed as the wedge social issue in the June 2004 federal election. We witnessed Liberal politicians proudly waving the rainbow flag, a sharp contrast to a year earlier when most of them had trouble saying “lesbian and gay” without first interjecting an “um” or taking in a little breathe […]

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Women’s Rights and Freedoms: 20 Years (In) Equality: NAWL & West Coast LEAF National Conference

West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (West Coast LEAF) and the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) are hosting a national conference in Vancouver from April 28 to May 1, 2005 at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown Hotel. The Conference will be bilingual and will strive towards accessibility. The focus of the Conference […]

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