Open Letter

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Climate Crisis – NAWL Brief on Bill C-50, An Act respecting accountability, transparency and engagement to support the creation of sustainable jobs


The Senate is currently considering Bill C-50, a bill that aims to facilitate the shift towards a carbon-neutral economy and to support workers in this transition. NAWL calls on decision-makers to apply a strong intersectional feminist analysis as they consider this bill.   No true climate justice can be achieved without taking into consideration the unique challenges faced by women and … Read More

May 22, 2024


NAWL submits a brief to ban parental alienation accusations in family court


The National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) has submitted a brief to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women for its study on Coercive Behaviour. In its brief, NAWL calls on the government to legislate to ban parental alienation accusations in family court. This demand echoes a recommendation of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women … Read More

May 8, 2024


NAWL receives 2023 Women, Peace and Security Civil Society Leadership Award from Government of Canada


National feminist law reform organization recognized for its work advocating for better protections for victims of domestic violence in gun control legislation Anishinaabe Territory/OTTAWA, May 2, 2024 Today, the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) was awarded the 2023 Women, Peace and Security Civil (WPS) Society Leadership Award by the Canadian Government. The award was presented during an … Read More

May 2, 2024


“Parental alienation: The one-size-fits-none theory” by Suzanne Zaccour, Director of Legal Affairs, NAWL


The National Association of Women and the Law is advocating for a ban on parental alienation accusations in family courts. Suzanne Zaccour, Director of Legal Affairs, wrote an op-ed addressing this pressing issue. Read the full article at https://www.law360.ca/ca/family/articles/1829261/parental-alienation-the-one-size-fits-none-theory-suzanne-zaccour 

April 25, 2024


Budget 2024 Policy Wins for Women


New funding for free contraception, creation of more $10-a-day child care spaces and investment in gun control buyback program Anishinaabe Territory/OTTAWA, April 16, 2024 – The National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) is pleased to see funding in Budget 2024 which addresses barriers women and girls in Canada face to achieving substantive gender equality. Reproductive justice – universal … Read More

April 16, 2024


Publication of the 2024 edition of “A Woman’s Guide to Money, Relationships, and the Law in Ontario”


The National Association of Women and the Law is excited to announce the publication of the 2024 edition of “A Woman’s Guide to Money, Relationships, and the Law in Ontario”.   This comprehensive guide is designed to empower women in Ontario with the knowledge of their financial rights and responsibilities within relationships. Whether you are married or in an unmarried … Read More

April 3, 2024


Announcing the winners of NAWL’s 50th Anniversary Student Essay Contest


Congratulations to the winners of our 50th-anniversary essay contest: The winning submission was from Tess Moffat from the University of Ottawa for her essay, The State as a Primary Perpetrator of Violence Against Indigenous Women.  Veronica Kiang, from Toronto Metropolitan University, was the runner-up for her entry, Fool’s Gold and Broken Rules: An Analysis on Wrongful Strip Searches Against Women.   … Read More

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March 28, 2024


NAWL continues advocating against parental alienation accusations against victims of family violence


“Parental alienation” is a concept used in parenting time disputes to criticize one parent, often the mother, when the other parent, often the father, does not have a relationship with the child. NAWL is leading a campaign, endorsed by 250 feminist organizations across the country, to ban the use of this harmful concept. Read our article on LAW 360 to … Read More

March 26, 2024


NAWL speaks out on the issue of sexual violence in the workplace


On January 31st, 2024, NAWL submitted a brief to the Committee on Labour and the Economy of the National Assembly of Quebec concerning Bill 42, an Act to prevent and fight psychological harassment and sexual violence in the workplace.   A Statistics Canada survey found that nearly one in two adults say they have witnessed or experienced sexual violence in their … Read More

March 25, 2024


The National Association of Women and the Law reacts to appellate decision on “Bill 21”


Yesterday, the Court of Appeal of Quebec rendered its decision on the Act respecting the laicity of the State, commonly known as Bill 21. Bill 21 was adopted with the preemptive invocation of the Charter’s notwithstanding clause, which the Quebec government intends to renew as we approach 5 years of the law being in force. “NAWL is extremely disappointed in … Read More

March 1, 2024


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17 November 2009
November 17, 2009

Discrimination on the Basis of Social Condition

Open Letter
In December of 1999, NAWL presented a Brief to the Canadian Human Rights Act Review Panel. We recommended inclusion of social condition as a protected ground of discrimination under the Act. We also told the Review Panel that if the Human Rights ...
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16 November 2009
November 16, 2009

Stolen Sisters: 500 Aboriginal Women are Missing or Dead

Open Letter
Over the past three decades, some 500 Aboriginal women have disappeared or been murdered in Canada. A 2004 Amnesty International Report documented the systemic killing of indigenous women in Canada, particularly those who were young and impoverished. The Report concludes that Canadian ...
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14 November 2009
November 14, 2009

Women and Fiscal Policy

Open Letter
In 1995 the government implemented the most significant spending reductions in contemporary Canadian history. Following these reductions, many women suffered significant economic hardship. A time of economic prosperity then ensued for the federal government. However, federal spending policy in the last ten ...
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17 September 2007
September 17, 2007

Letter to NAWL Friends, Collaborators, and Advocates

Open Letter
NAWL is forced to lay off staff and shut down our office due to federal funding changes. September 17th, 2007 Dear NAWL friends, collaborators, and advocates, As a result of the Harper Government’s changes in funding policies to women’s groups, we have ...
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1 December 2006
December 1, 2006

Letter to Harper on Women’s Funding

Open Letter
NAWL had requested a meeting with Prime Minister Harper but he declined the invitation. This letter reviews the issues raised previously and asks again for a meeting. Dear Prime Minister Harper, A few months ago the National Association of Women and the ...
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15 October 2006
October 15, 2006

Abortion and Reproductive Rights

Open Letter
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 ...
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28 June 2006
June 28, 2006

NAWL calls on Mr. Harper to respect International Law on Social and Economic Rights

Open Letter
In 1976 Canada ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Yet, despite having ratified this Covenant 30 years ago, little progress has been achieved for the most vulnerable groups in Canadian society. Right Honorable Stephen Harper Prime Minister of ...
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8 March 2006
March 8, 2006

Childcare is Key to Women’s Equality

Open Letter
Childcare is key to women’s equality. NAWL and FAFIA call on Prime Minister Harper to maintain and renew childcare funding agreements with the provinces. Honorable Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada House of Commons Ottawa March 8 2006 Prime Minister Harper, The ...
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8 March 2005
March 8, 2005

500 Aboriginal Women Missing or Murdered

Open Letter
Some 500 Aboriginal women have been disappeared/murdered over the past three decades in Canada. In support of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), NAWL and others urge Minister Anne McLellan to fund research and education related to violence against Aboriginal women. ...
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24 February 2005
February 24, 2005

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

Open Letter
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 ...
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24 February 2005
February 24, 2005

Faith-based Arbitration in Family Law

Open Letter
NAWL opposes faith-based arbitration in family law. When Marion Boyd’s Report came out in favour of faith-based arbitration, NAWL wrote to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and other politicians to voice our concern. February 24 2005 Honorable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario Honorable ...
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10 December 2004
December 10, 2004

NAPE v Newfoundland: Pay Discrimination

Open Letter
In NAPE v Newfoundland, the Supreme Court ruled that it was acceptable to pay discriminatory wages to women in order to avoid an impending “fiscal crisis.” NAWL and 99 other groups disagree! We asked the federal government to show its commitment to ...
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10 December 2004
December 10, 2004

Letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin on NAPE Supreme Court Decision

Open Letter
On October 24, 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that because of an alleged impending ‘fiscal crisis’, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador had the right to back out of an agreement to correct discriminatory wages for women health care workers. ...
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10 December 2004
December 10, 2004

Letter to Premier Danny Williams on NAPE Supreme Court Decision

Open Letter
On October 24, 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that because of an alleged impending ‘fiscal crisis’, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador had the right to back out of an agreement to correct discriminatory wages for women health care workers. ...
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8 October 2004
October 8, 2004

Letter to Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice, on Custody and Access and the Reform of the Divorce Act

Open Letter
Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler has recognized on more than one occasion that “women’s rights are human rights”. Yet he was ready to consider re-introducing Bill C-22 to amend the Divorce Act without any analysis whatsoever of the impact of proposed changes ...
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11 August 2004
August 11, 2004

Gender Sensitive Budget Policies

Open Letter
NAWL has called on the federal government to ensure that all women have access to decent housing, quality health care, adequate income security, improved maternity and parental benefits and universal, publicly funded childcare. These measures require federal funding. NAWL wrote to the ...
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14 February 2004
February 14, 2004

Dear Prime Minister….

Open Letter
Cet article est disponible uniquement en anglais. The Coalition for Women’s Equality sent this letter to the Right Honourable Paul Martin in response to his government’s initial Throne Speech on February 2, 2004 and after he responded to that speech in the ...
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3 February 2004
February 3, 2004

Women’s Reproductive Rights and the American Convention on Human Rights

Open Letter
The American Convention on Human Rights is an important human rights instrument, yet it contains a right to life provision. NAWL will not endorse ratification of the American Convention until we have the assurance that women’s reproductive rights, including the right to ...
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25 October 2003
October 25, 2003

Faith-Based Arbitration

Open Letter
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. Why People Are Talking About Faith-Based Arbitration In 2003, the ...
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22 October 2003
October 22, 2003

Custody and Access

Open Letter
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 ...
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