HerStory of Equality
HerStory of Equality from Verdicts of Canadian Courts
“HerStory of Equality from Verdicts of Canadian Courts” presents a brief overview of the progress of women’s equality over the past 90 years. This progress is measured in court decisions that recognized women’s rights to hold high public offices; to get equally paid and be promoted; to make important decisions about their lives, such as marriage and giving birth; and to pursue their lives without suffering harassment on the basis of gender, marital status, reputation, intimate history, or family responsibilities. All these cases represent significant milestones.
Many of these cases went on for several years, with judgments appealed and overturned and fought at several levels of court. They also involved years of work by police, lawyers, judges, and especially by women who refused to give up. Consider how much persistence, determination and, above all, courage may be required to change a law or a custom that has been in place for so long that it has acquired the same force as law!
Court judgments do not apply only to those who are involved in the case; they are meant for the entire society. They formalize a society’s mandate and carry out its collective will to transform itself. The study reminds us of the important role we all have to play by following and advancing the message of these court judgments in both action and spirit.