Women and Equality Conference, October 2010

Women and Equality — Gender-based Analysis, Law, and Economic Rights

Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
128 Union Street (Macdonald Hall, Room 001)
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

*Click here to download the schedule in PDF format.*

This conference is open to anyone interested in equality and women’s issues, including students, faculty, members of community organizations, workers, policy analysts, managers and administrators, government employees, and professionals.

Please register in advance with Megan Hamilton at megan.hamilton@queensu.ca. There are no registration fees for students, those on low incomes, or voluntary workers; those who can afford to contribute toward the food expenses of this conference are asked to pay a $30 registration fee upon arrival. Information on conference hotel rates can be obtained from Ms. Hamilton.

Purpose of this conference:

Long before the 2008 global economic crisis occurred, women in large economies began to see the promise of equality eroding. ‘Economic crisis’ policies have done nothing to reverse that trend. For example, a decade ago, the US and Canada were ranked 3rd and 1st on the UN gender-related development index; by 2009, they had already fallen to 19th and 4th, respectively, and are ranked much lower on newer equality-specific indexes. Similar patterns can be seen in the UK and many European countries.

At the same time, countries such as South Africa continue to demonstrate that ‘feminism works’ as they accelerate their movement toward increase sex equality. For women in such countries, the question is still ‘when will women achieve equality?’ But for growing numbers of women, the question is becoming ‘will women ever achieve equality?’

This conference will examine current developments affecting the status of women with particular regard to the gender impact of legal, economic, and equality rights. What roles do race, immigration status, Aboriginal heritage, education, family composition, and other factors play in shaping women’s search for equality? Can specific roadblocks to the attainment of further equality be identified? Are there better policies that governments can enact? What roles have neoliberal, neoconservative, and economic ‘crisis’ politics played? Can international obligations such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and domestic commitments to gender-based analysis of all policies, practices, and laws counter such politics? And how are emerging environmental, security, and regulatory issues affecting women as compared with men?

Contact Bita Amani (amanib@queensu.ca) or Kathleen Lahey (kal2@queensu.ca) for program.

Date and location:

This conference will be held at Queen’s University Faculty of Law, Kingston, Ont., room 001, on Saturday October 23, 2010, with an informal discussion on the evening of October 22, 2010 for those who can make it between 6 pm and 8. Email one of us for details of the informal discussion.

Program Details

Friday Oct. 22, 2010

6 to 8 pm:
Foyer, Faculty of Law
Buffet and informal discussion

Saturday Oct. 23, 2010

8 to 9 am:
Foyer, Faculty of Law

9 -10:30 am:
Sex Equality in the Twenty-First Century
Law, Room 001

  • Sonia Lawrence, professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, and director, Institute of Feminist Legal Studies (York) --- ‘Sex Equality and the Canadian Charter of Rights’
  • Kate McInturff, executive director, Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) ---‘Reality Check: Discrimination in the 21st Century’
  • Beth Atcheson, cofounder, Charter of Rights Education Fund and Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) --- ‘A Personal Look at the Politics of Equality’

10.30-10.45 am:
Coffee break
Law, student lounge

10.45-11.45 am:
Ecofeminism and Environmental Policy Analysis
Law, Room 001

  • Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law ---‘Reimagining Canadian Environmental Law through the Lens of Ecofeminism’
  • Nathalie Chalifour, professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law --- ‘Gender-Based Environmental Policy Analysis – a Matter of Equality’

Noon to 1 pm:
Law, student lounge

Lunchtime speakers – Aboriginal Women: The Long Hard Road ...

  • Sharon McIvor, BC lawyer, professor, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, and plaintiff in the case that has contested the sex-based Indian status rules in the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Teressa Nahanee, BC lawyer, professor, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, and counsel for Inuit women in numerous Charter challenges

Please read in preparation:

Native Women’s Association of Canada v. Canada [2006]
Native Women's Association of Canada v. Canada [1994]
McIvor v. Canada [2009]
Sharon McIvor Court Case - Background

1 - 2.30 pm:
Sex Discrimination in Taxes, Spending, and Budgetary Policies
Law, Room 001

  • Valeria Seigelshifer, coordinator, Gender Budgeting Project, Adva Centre, Tel Aviv --- ‘Examining Budgets under a Gender-Responsive Lens: The Example of Israel’
  • Yael Hasson, coordinator, Women’s Budget Forum, Adva Centre, Tel Aviv, and doctoral candidate, Sociology Department, University of Haifa --- ‘Why Women Lose from Tax Cuts’
  • Kristen Skinner, doctoral candidate, Department of Political Science, York University --- ‘Guaranteed Income Proposals as a Strategic Policy Path? A Social Reproduction Analysis’
  • Maria Wersig, visiting scholar, Pace University School of Law, and doctoral candidate, Frie Universität, Berlin --- ‘LGBT Equality and Taxation’

2:30-2:45 pm:
Coffee break
Law, student lounge

2:45-3:45 pm:
Women, Children, and Family Law: Whose Equality?
Law, Room 001

  • Pamela Cross, Legal Director, Luke's Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children, and policy consultant, National Association of Women and the Law --- ‘Women's Economic Inequality in Family Law'
  • Marcia Zug, professor, University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbus SC --- ‘Deportation of Immigrant Mothers and “Best Interests” of the Child’

3:45-4:45 pm:
Whose Images? What for? The Making of ‘Women’ in Politics, Medicine, and Religion
Law, Room 001

  • Patricia Peppin, professor, Queen’s University Faculty of Law, and director of law program, School of Medicine --- ‘Drug Imagery and Legal Imaginary: Assessing the Power of Advertising’
  • Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko, lecturer, University of Montreal --- ‘Constructing Islamic Women as “Other” – On Enemies and Visions of Gender’

4:45-5:45 pm:
Equality Redux: Olympic Women, Sex Discrimination in Sports, and the Upcoming PanAm Games
Law, Room 001

  • Laura Robinson, equality activist and Olympic competitor — ‘Women, Human Rights, and the Olympics – The IOC Did Not Make Canada Discriminate’ — with slide show!
  • Erin Durant, Queen’s University Faculty of Law ‘11; summer associate Borden Ladner --- Where is the Money for Women in Sports? What Sex Discrimination means for Women and Communities’