Feminist Legal Studies Queen's

Feminist Legal Studies Queen's

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'Gender Analysis and the Proposed Gender Equality Law for Canada'

The Canadian Human Rights Charter protects women's rights to equality. Canada has also signed the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1981. As such, Canadian women have good reason to expect that the federal government will honour its commitments towards women's rights to equality in all its programs, measures, policies and laws. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. As shown by recent statistics, Canadian women have not achieved substantive equality. Gender-based analyses are rarely conducted, in spite of the official existence of the gender-based analysis (GBA) program since 1995. Voluntary measures in GBA do not go far enough.  How can the federal government be forced to honour its constitutional and international obligations towards women's equality?

After defining briefly the concept of GBA, looking at good practices abroad and its critics, this article analyzes one of the recommendations of the Report of the  Expert Panel on Accountability Mechanisms for Gender Equality, Equality for Women: Beyond the Illusion, namely the enactment of a law on equality for women, making GBA compulsory in all Canadian federal endeavours.

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