• Stop debating age and actually teach us about consent

    We need to learn that consent can be affected by power dynamics, the influence of substances and perceived safety. In order for us to feel safe and empowered in our decisions, conversations must be constant and reflective of our experience. Education has to start young, acknowledging that consent is not only mandatory for sex but also for any kind of healthy relationship… So, we have to keep talking about it, a thousand times over, until things start to change.

  • Paving way for more women in workforce would boost economic growth, report says

    … the burden of unpaid care work, gender discrimination and violence, a lack of legal protection and reduced access to financial services… Removing those barriers could boost OECD growth by between 6 per cent and 20 per cent… “It’s about the sheer scope for growth — 6 per cent is what we arrived at for advanced economies; for emerging market countries it’s even higher… So why aren’t we going for it?”

  • Let’s hope Canadian courts see the true meaning of the niqab

    The higher value of “social cohesion” has twice guided rulings against challenges to niqab bans by the European Court of Human Rights, which noted that the religious duty for women to cover was “hard to reconcile” with the principle of gender equality. Let us hope that our judiciary agrees and rules accordingly.

  • New family care policies provide more flexibility, but for whom?

    … because they continue to be based on the Employment Insurance (EI) system, the benefits may actually not be affordable to many… these levels of payments may actually not be a living wage and therefore may only benefit people at the higher income levels. In best practice Nordic countries, people get around 80 per cent of wages while on leave… most Canadians will not truly benefit from the greater flexibility provided.

  • Ottawa should do better on improving parental leave

    It’s difficult enough to sustain a household for 12 months under the current rules; doing without a full income for even longer will be a struggle for many… Second, it’s still extraordinarily difficult for parents who are working part-time or in other precarious work to access the EI parental leave program… third… Ottawa amended the Canada Labour Code for federally regulated workplaces… But that covers only 8 per cent of workers.

  • Senate backs down from standoff over Indian Act amendment

    An amended bill that aims to rid the Indian Act of all its sexist elements has been approved by the Senate despite senators’ expressed concern that the government has given no timeline for removing one of the most contentious areas of discrimination… Its passage will mean the rules governing the transfer of Indian status from one generation to the next, which have favoured men over women for more than a century, will become gender-neutral.

  • ‘Reserve army’ of precariously employed keeps lid on wages

    The best explanation for very soft inflation in Canada is probably continued slack in the job market. The Bank of Canada does note… the continuing very low participation rate for young people, suggesting we are still short of a tight job market… wage pressures and inflation might remain persistently low even with a low unemployment rate due to the seemingly inexorable rise of precarious work.

  • New book ‘Invisible No More’ will change what you think you know about police brutality

    For white women, the concern is about police nonresponse to violence. For women of colour, police response is the problem – too many cases where officers responding to domestic violence calls sexually assault the person who called for help, strip searches and cavity searches, criminalization around supposed welfare fraud, the way child protective services police motherhood of women of colour, and how prostitution is policed. “Very few people have paid attention to the police interactions… Counting police violence in the overall equation of violence…”

  • Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on sex assault cases: ‘No one has the right to a particular verdict’

    … while the system seems focused on the accused, “complainants and victims are also part of the process,” and the integrity of the system demands that they be taken seriously and that their interests be reconciled with the rights of the accused… The justice system can achieve a “fine but crucial balance” between protecting the right of the accused and the dignity of complainants, but “we must not divide ourselves into warring camps shouting at each other…

  • We owe sexual abuse survivors more than #MeTo

    … is awareness actually the problem? Just how many hundreds of thousands of stories will it take to convince those who haven’t suffered sexual abuse that the issue is real and life altering? What needs more airtime? Concrete measures for enacting cultural and institutional change… From the ground up, we need to start with schools imparting deeper knowledge to young minds about consent, empathy, entitlement, bodily autonomy and bystander behaviour.