Workshops

In 2019, over one hundred women from across the country participated in one of NAWL’s introductory workshops on feminist law reform.

Inspired by the Feminist Law Reform 101 course, these introductory workshops covered a wide-range of feminist law reform issues, including:

  • the federal law reform process
  • how to write a parliamentary brief
  • how to draft a thesis statement for a brief/op-ed on a violence against women law reform issue
  • issues related to working in coalitions to achieve substantive equality
  • how to lobby Members of Parliament or Senators
  • how to make a pitch on a violence against women law reform issue to a Member of Parliament or a Senator
  • using social media for feminist advocacy and activism
  • op-ed writing skills

Workshops at the Law Needs Feminism Because Forum in Halifax

February 23, 2019

27 law students completed the two skills building NAWL workshops offered during the 3rd Law Needs Feminism Because National Forum.

The first workshop was designed to provide feminist law students with the confidence and tools to contribute their expertise to the public discourse on feminist law reform issues. Participants received skills based training and hands-on support from Informed Opinions to strengthen their capacities to write compelling, short-form written commentary for newspaper op-ed pages and online sites on equality rights issues, with a specific focus on the right to abortion in Canada, the Canada Summer Jobs Program Attestation, and the government’s legal obligation to protect and promote women’s equality rights.

The second workshop was on how to use social media for feminist advocacy and activism. The workshop was led by Paula Ethans—a young feminist and recent law school graduate who had completed the University of Ottawa Feminist Law Reform course in 2018.

Feminist Law Reform Workshop in Vancouver

May 22, 2019

This introductory workshop on feminist law reform was held at the Law Foundation of British Columbia. The morning session of the workshop, which presented an introduction to feminist law reform, was facilitated by Suki Beavers and Rachel Kohut (NAWL Project Staff) and Pam Cross (a NAWL Project partner and member of the Project Advisory Board). The afternoon session of the workshop, which focused on strengthening advocacy skills with a focus on writing op eds, was facilitated by Shari Graydon of Informed Opinions.

Participants included representatives from twelve women’s equality seeking groups, including:

Feminist Law Reform Workshop in Toronto

June 10, 2019

Fourteen women convened in Toronto for an introductory workshop on feminist law reform. The morning session of the workshop, which presented an introduction to feminist law reform, was facilitated by NAWL Project staff, Suki Beavers and Rachel Kohut, and NAWL Project Advisory Board member and partner, Pam Cross. The afternoon session of the workshop, which focused on strengthening advocacy skills by writing op eds, was facilitated by Laura Shine from Informed Opinions.

Participants included representatives from nine women’s equality seeking organizations, including:

Feminist Law Reform Workshop in Montreal

September 13, 2019

An introductory workshop on feminist law reform at the federal level was held in Montreal at McGill University. This workshop was facilitated in French and focused on violence against women in the context of family law, specifically divorce.

The morning session of the workshop, which presented an introduction to feminist law reform, was facilitated by: NAWL’s new Project Director, Rachel Kohut;[mfn]In June 2019, Suki Beavers (the former Project Director) became NAWL’s Executive Director and Rachel Kohut was hired as the new Project Director.[/mfn] NAWL Co-Chairs, Anne Levesque and Martha Jackman; and Souhila Baba, who had participated in the introduction to FLR workshops previously convened by NAWL in Halifax in February 2019. The afternoon session, which focused on strengthening advocacy skills by writing op eds, was facilitated by Maïka Sondarjee and Laura Shine from Informed Opinions.

At this workshop, Mathilde Trou and Louise Riendeau (Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence), Marie-Hélène Senay (Fédération des maisons d’hébérgement pour femmes) and Karine-Myrgianie Jean-François (DisAbled Women’s Network Canada) — who participated in the Bill C-78 coalition led by NAWL and Luke’s Place — shared their respective experiences engaging in feminist law reform at the federal level.

Amongst the fourteen participants were feminist law students and representatives of ten Quebec-based women’s equality-seeking groups including:

Feminist Law Reform Workshop in Ottawa

September 20, 2019

Representatives of thirteen national feminist and equality seeking organizations and allies participated in an introductory workshop on feminist law reform convened at the University of Ottawa.

The morning session of the workshop, which presented an introduction to feminist law reform, was facilitated by: NAWL’s Executive Director, Suki Beavers; NAWL Project Director, Rachel Kohut; NAWL Project Partner and Advisory Board member, Pam Cross; and Souhila Baba (who had participated in the Feminist Law Reform Workshop previously convened in Halifax). The afternoon session of the workshop, which focused on strengthening advocacy skills by writing op-eds, was facilitated by Shari Graydon, founder of Informed Opinions.

The twenty participants included feminist law students and a diverse range of senior and junior organizational representatives from the following organizations: