Tuesday, November 7, 2023

French President Moves to Enshrine Right to Abortion in Constitution

Macron Moves to Add Abortion to France's Constitution, Reacting to US, Wash. Post

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday submitted language for an amendment that would make France the first country to enshrine a right to abortion in its constitution.

Macron has declared on social media that by next year “the right of women to choose abortion will become irreversible.”

The push comes in direct response to the restriction of abortion rights in the United States.

Abortion in France has not been similarly under threat. The French public overwhelmingly supports abortion rights. Abortion is legal for any reason through the 14th week of pregnancy and fully covered by the country’s health insurance system.

But after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade last year and allowed states to outlaw abortion, French women clamored to further protect their right.

In many countries, abortion is protected by law, not court decision

“The Dobbs case was very shocking in France,” said Mathilde Philip-Gay, a law professor at Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University. “A movement was born just after the case, and women asked Parliament to act and especially to change the constitution.” She noted that polls in the summer of 2022 showed that about 80 percent of the population supported abortion rights and a similar percentage was in favor of adding a right to abortion to the constitution.

November 7, 2023 in Abortion, Constitutional, International, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Regulating the Substantive Gender Inequalities of Artificial Intelligence

Rosel Kim & Kristen Thomasen, Submission to The Standing Committee on Industry and Technology on Bill C-27, An Act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts 

While AI has been touted by industry as an innovative tool that will yield benefits for the public, examining the impact of AI from a substantive equality perspective reveals profound harms. As a leading national organization with a mandate to advance substantive gender equality, LEAF urges the government to centre substantive equality and human rights as the guiding principles when regulating the growing use of AI. With this goal in mind, LEAF submits that the scope of AIDA must - at least - be substantially expanded in order to enable regulations that can protect against all present and emerging harms from AI.

October 26, 2023 in International, Legislation, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Women in Iceland Go on Strike Against Gender Inequality

NYT, Women in Iceland Go on Strike Against Gender Inequality

Tens of thousands of women and nonbinary people in Iceland were expected to join a one-day strike on Tuesday, which organizers called the country’s largest effort to protest workplace inequality in nearly five decades.

Iceland is a global leader in gender equality but still has a long way to go, said Freyja Steingrímsdóttir, a spokeswoman for the Icelandic Federation of Public Workers, the country’s largest federation of public worker unions.

“Iceland is often viewed as some sort of equality paradise,” Ms. Steingrímsdóttir, an organizer of the strike, said. “If we’re going to live up to that name, we need to move forward and really be the best we can be — and we’re not stopping until full gender equality is reached.”

Organizers urged women and nonbinary people to stop all work on Tuesday, including household errands and child care. Even Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said she would take part, telling local news media that she would not call a cabinet meeting and that she expected other women in the cabinet to strike.

October 25, 2023 in Business, Equal Employment, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 20, 2023

Gender Parity and Constitutionalism in Chile

Rosalind Dixon & Marcela Prieto Rudolphy, Parity Constitutionalism, Global Constitutionalism, Forthcoming

"Never again without us", the Chilean feminist movement demanded of the constitution-making process. This demand for remedying women's historical exclusion from constitution-making ultimately translated to gender parity in the composition of the Chilean constitutional assembly. However, the constitutional draft, which included many gender-related norms, was rejected by Chileans in the exit referendum. In this article, we argue that although gender parity in constitution-making has promise and, like in the Chilean case, can be linked to substantive outcomes in terms of gender rights enshrined in the constitutional text, without political representation that is embedded in a broader party structure, those promises may fail to materialize.

October 20, 2023 in Constitutional, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Deep Disagreements in the Last Five Years of Equality Jurisprudence at the Supreme Court of Canada

Jennifer Koshan & Jonnette Watson Hamilton, "'Clarifications' or 'Wholesale Revisions'? The Last Five Years of Equality Jurisprudence at the Supreme Court of Canada" (2023) Supreme Court Law Review (Forthcoming)
Presented at the Asper Centre's Litigating Equality Symposium at the University of Toronto in May 2023

Over the past five years, the Supreme Court of Canada’s equality jurisprudence under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has revealed deep disagreements within the Court. This paper reviews the six decisions that comprise that jurisprudence, drawing out the major points of contention on the role of substantive equality, the test for section 15(1), adverse effects discrimination, causation, evidence, contextualization, and positive obligations. Our argument is that while the section 15 majorities in the first three decisions – Alliance, Centrale, and Fraser – attempted to respond to the critiques of equality-seeking groups, these decisions could not paper over the profoundly ideological disagreements embedded in equality rights jurisprudence, particularly in cases of systemic discrimination. In light of the recent push-back by a significant proportion of the Court in R v CP and a majority in Sharma, we also discuss the implications of the six decisions for equality-promoting litigation strategies going forward.

October 19, 2023 in Constitutional, Courts, Gender, International, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 9, 2023

Kenyan Court Exonerates Health Care Provider and Mother of Adolescent Girl From Abortion Charges

The Center for Reproductive Rights reported on the dismissal of Republic v. Samson Mwita & Grace Wanjiku on September 25th. The Center for Reproductive Rights summarizes the case: 

The defendants, Samson Mwita and Grace Wanjiku, were arrested and charged in September 2018 when police stormed the health facility where Wanjiku’s 16-year-old daughter was being treated by Mwita for pregnancy related complications following a sexual assault as a minor.

Under the charges of procuring an abortion, Mwita and Wanjiku faced up to 14 years imprisonment under section 158 of Kenya’s Penal Code—but the Court determined that the prosecution presented no evidence to sustain the charges. Following the acquittal by the Chief Magistrates Court, neither Mwita nor Wanjiku can be charged again for the same allegations.

Kenya’s 2010 Constitution protects abortion as a fundamental right guaranteed when life or health, including mental health, are at risk, and in cases of sexual assault. Despite those protections, Kenya’s Penal Code continues to criminalize abortion, and abortion care remains almost unobtainable in most of the country, especially in rural areas. In addition, women, girls and health care providers continue to face harassment, arrest and prosecution when attempting to access or provide abortion care.

October 9, 2023 in Abortion, Constitutional, Courts, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Book Review, Julie Suk, After Misogyny: Lessons from Comparative Constitutionalism

Linda McClain, Care Work, Gender Equality, and Abortion: Lessons from Comparative Constitutionalism, JOTWELL, reviewing Julie Suk, After Misogyny: How the Law Fails Women and What to Do About It.

Julie Suk’s ambitious book, After Misogyny: How the Law Fails Women and What to Do About It, contributes to a feminist literature on equality and care spanning centuries and national boundaries, yet offers timely diagnoses and prescriptions for the United States at a very particular moment. That “moment” includes being four years into the COVID-19 pandemic and over one year into the post-Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey world wrought by Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. That moment also includes a sense that transformative political and constitutional change are necessary but difficult because (as Suk and Kate Shaw recently noted) Americans have “lost the habit and muscle memory of seeking formal constitutional change” —and because of problems like polarization, gerrymandering, and restrictions on voting. Drawing on her expertise in comparative constitutional law and gender equality, Suk offers “comparative lessons” from feminist lawmaking and constitutionalism elsewhere to help move the U.S. to a democratic constitutionalism that is post-patriarchy and post-misogyny. (Pp. 212-14.) In this review, I explore some of those lessons concerning governmental commitments to supporting care and gender equality and to fostering reproductive justice.

September 19, 2023 in Abortion, Books, Constitutional, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 11, 2023

Australian Inquiry Into Accounts of Birth Trauma

CNN covered a recent proceeding hearing personal accounts of birth trauma in Australia in its article, "MeToo" for Mothers: Australian Inquiry Hears Troubling Accounts of Birth Trauma.

The inquiry was called after dozens of women complained about their care in one part of the state, but the deluge of submissions suggests the problem goes far wider.


More than 4,000 submissions were received in just six weeks, mostly from mothers who say they were ignored, belittled, and denied the opportunity to give informed consent.


Some lost their babies, others carried their infants home along with mental and physical trauma – for which many blame themselves.

The proceeding opened with comments like these: 

“No means no, except apparently in childbirth, and it’s time to change that,” Hannah Dahlen, a professor of midwifery at Western Sydney University, told the inquiry when it opened on Monday. “This is the MeToo movement of birth.”

The committee member who convened the proceeding told CNN: 

Committee Chair Emma Hurst says the point of the inquiry isn’t to lay blame on individuals. “It’s about finding out where the system is failing and making sure we can work towards changing those systems so it doesn’t continue to happen to other women.”  

September 11, 2023 in International, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 4, 2023

Jessie Allen on "Property and More-Than-Human Personhood"

Jessie Allen has posted on SSRN the forthcoming work Property and More-than-Human Personhood. The abstract previews: 

It was international news when the New Zealand Parliament, in a 2017 settlement of Māori land claims, declared that the Whanganui River “is a legal person and has all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person.” Such grants of non-human personhood seem peculiar. They contradict a conventional understanding that Western legal doctrine inscribes a sharp boundary between human owners of property and objects of that ownership, and only the owners have power. That anthropocentric view is part of what has made AngloAmerican property law an instrument of violent dispossession and extraction. But it is not the only way to read property doctrine. This article uses mainstream current and historical legal sources— recent U.S. case law and Blackstone’s Commentaries to tell a different story, one in which the line between persons and property has always been vanishingly thin.

Drawing on philosophical critiques of modern Western anthropocentrism and the work of Indigenous scholars, the article reveals how everyday property doctrines can accommodate a more holistic worldview. Blackstone is associated with an extreme vision of private property as exclusive individual human control over an objectified world. But viewing his canonical work through a less dualistic lens, the human subjects he describes can appear less potent than the landscape they inhabit. Blackstone’s “permanent and immoveable” land is not just a physical object, and real property combines material and “incorporeal” entities that both restrict and enable owners’ actions. This interactive more-than-human agency persists in land today, for example, in the counterintuitive doctrine of adverse possession and through servitudes that “run with the land” to shape human conduct.

This article is the first to show how traditional Western property law can be reimagined to share legal personhood – and power. Recognizing how longstanding property doctrines support more-than-human personhood matters for two main reasons: (1) It grounds novel grants of non-human personhood in a durable, widely accepted legal framework; and (2) it undermines the hierarchical anthropocentric version of property law that has facilitated and justified Western domination of both non-Western humans and non-human others. The goal is to envision a legal system that will help bring about more sustainable, morally responsible relationships among humans and between humans and others.

September 4, 2023 in International, Reproductive Rights, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2023

Kashyap on "A Critical Race Feminism Critique of Immigration Laws that Exclude Sex Workers: Moving from Theory to Praxis"

Monika Batra Kashyap has published A Critical Race Feminism Critique of Immigration Laws that Exclude Sex Workers: Moving from Theory to Praxis in volume 38 of the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice (2023). The abstract is here: 

This Article is the first to apply a critical race feminism (CRF) critique to the current immigration law in the United States, Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 212(a)(2)(D)(i), which excludes immigrants for engaging in sex work. This Article will use critical historical methodology to center the role of women of color as the primary targets of not only the first federal law to criminalize sex workers, but also the first explicitly racist immigration law in United States history. The Article will also employ theories of anti-essentialism and intersectionality to show how INA § 212(a)(2)(D)(i) both silences the voices and experiences of women of color sex workers and refuses to recognize the impacts of multiple intersecting systems of oppression. Finally, the Article will connect the critique of INA § 212(a)(2)(D)(i) to the anti-carceral feminist movement to decriminalize sex work in order to move from theory to praxis, and to inspire advocacy strategies and law reform efforts that point to a broader project of transformation. The ultimate goal of this Article is to strengthen links between critical race and immigration law scholarship so that scholars can continue to use CRF as an exploratory analytical tool to examine the intersections of race, class, and gender within immigration law.

August 28, 2023 in International, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 7, 2023

Bruce Ching on "Through a Lens of Genocide: A Different Approach for Hate Crimes Legislation"

Bruce Ching has published a new article, Through a Lens of Genocide: A Different Approach for Hate Crimes Legislation, in 75 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 535 (2023). Here is the abstract. 

Hate crimes perpetrators select their victims based on the victims’ identity groups. Policies underlying legislation against hate crimes recognize that such crimes inflict greater harm on society than do the same actions committed for non-biased motives. Genocide may be conceptualized as hate crimes writ large; conversely, a new model of hate crimes legislation might be patterned on legal concepts of genocide scaled down to state or local levels. This new recognition could successfully address criticisms from both liberal and conservative factions along the political spectrum, offering a model that state and local governments could invoke for dealing with bias-motivated incidents that feature the perpetrators’ systemic intent, without focusing on more marginal occurrences. Thus, the hybrid model of hate crime as genocide could appeal to the remaining legislatures that have refused to adopt hate crime statutes, as well as to prosecutors who have had reservations about charging suspects under existing hate crimes statutes. The conceptualization of hate crime as genocide on a state or local level could also encourage local authorities to take action when federal law enforcement is either unable or unwilling to do so.

August 7, 2023 in Gender, International, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Samuel Singer and Amy Salyzyn on "Preventing Misgendering in Canadian Courts"

Samuel Singer and Amy Salyzyn have posted "Preventing Misgendering in Canadian Courts: Respectful Forms of Address Directives" on SSRN. This work is forthcoming in the Canadian Bar Review. 

Trans people face significant access to justice barriers and regularly experience discrimination within the Canadian legal system. In this context, respectful forms of address directives seek to prevent the misgendering of courtroom participants by having lawyers and parties proactively identify their titles and pronouns. Multiple Canadian courts have now introduced such directives.

This article situates forms of address directives as simply another control on courtroom speech that contributes to the fair, orderly, and efficient administration of justice. Drawing on examples, including the honorifics used for judges and the evolution of oath and affirmation requirements for witnesses, we detail how courtroom rules have evolved to reflect societal change. The article argues that forms of address directives are an important procedural tool to advance the administration of justice by facilitating equal access to the courts for trans people, providing consistency with the broader legal system’s recognition of trans rights, and facilitating the efficient and orderly administration of justice.

The article then counters arguments that forms of address directives constitute improperly “compelled speech” in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed free expression rights and addresses concerns that these directives may limit a lawyer’s ability to zealously advocate for their clients.

We conclude that forms of address directives are a simple and important mechanism to help address misgendering in courts while emphasizing that much substantive work remains to address trans people’s legal needs in Canada.

July 11, 2023 in Courts, Gender, International, Judges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Gender Equality Provisions in Trade Agreements

Katrin Kuhlmann & Amrita Bahri, Gender Mainstreaming in Trade Agreements: ‘A Potemkin Façade’? in Making Trade Work for Women: Key Learnings from the World Trade Congress on Gender, Forthcoming (forthcoming September 2023)

The distributional outcomes of trade agreements have historically been uneven, creating both “losers” as well as “winners” and benefitting certain stakeholders while leaving others without benefits or even with negative repercussions. In particular, distributional outcomes can vary between women and men, since they play different roles in society, markets, and economies, and they enjoy different opportunities as well. At times, and sometimes by their very nature, trade agreements can restrict opportunities for women and further increase the gender divide. But in recent years, there has been a drastic upsurge in the number of countries that are incorporating commitments on gender equality in their trade agreements.

Currently, of all free trade agreements in force, around one-third have at least one explicit provision relating to gender equality. Yet almost no trade agreement so far contemplates how gender-related commitments could be implemented or enforced, and no trade agreement approaches gender on a holistic level that can meaningfully address distributional issues. Most legal provisions incorporated in trade agreements so far have been drafted in the spirit of best endeavor cooperation and are often blamed for being mere “Cinderella” provisions. In order to reverse the distributional inequities, a more comprehensive approach based on women’s roles and economic realities is needed, as is further research on what would improve distribution of opportunities for women. With more and more countries considering gender mainstreaming, this raises an important question: Is “gender mainstreaming” in trade agreements used as a “Potemkin Facade” to hide larger distributional issues? This paper will not fully answer this question, but it will expand upon possibilities and offer reflections to spark debate and discussions on this concern.

June 13, 2023 in Business, Gender, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Evolving Concept of Gender and Intersectional Stereotypes in International Norm Creation and AI

Rangita de Silva de Alwis, The Evolving Concept of Gender and Intersectional Stereotypes in International Norm Creation: Directions for a New CEDAW General Recommendation, U. Penn. J. Law & Public Affairs (forthcoming) 

A mapping of recent Concluding Observations issued to States parties by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) provides an analysis of the evolving human right standard by which to examine gender and intersectional stereotypes. The mapping exercise focused on cultural practices and gender stereotypes in the Concluding Observations reveals the CEDAW Committee is more likely than any other above-mentioned treaty body to discuss stereotypes. This provides us with a textual understanding of how stereotypes, culture and traditional practices often overlap and intersect. While gender stereotypes have replaced more overt forms of gender discrimination, these subtle stereotypes constitute different challenges as they are less visible to the untrained eye. The second part of the paper examines how a new generation of stereotypes are being baked into Artificial Intelligence (AI) through AI training data. While writing this paper, Open AI released ChatGPT and other Generative AI and Large Language Models which demand critical examination for emerging forms of gender bias. Last summer, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, known for his love of poetry, previewed Open AI’s newest model on Generative AI and asked the chatbot to translate the Persian poet Rumi into Urdu, and then English. He recalls that he exclaimed: “God, this thing.”

Despite the strides in AI innovation, the dangers of potential gender bias are real. Prometheus stole fire from the Greek Gods and was punished for his folly and hubris. He still provided humans with the fire of life and was pardoned by the great Zeus himself. As much as these new technologies have the potential for great good and can advance medicine, science, health care, food security and other forms of human endeavor, they also have great potential for harm and pose risks to human rights. The CEDAW’s new General Recommendation (GR) 40 and the GR 41 (in the pipeline) can create important new normative frameworks that propose a human right-based approach to mitigate the emerging gender stereotypes of new technologies.

June 13, 2023 in Gender, International, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 5, 2023

Transdisciplinary Coalition Publishes "Menstrual Justice: A Human Rights Vision for Australia"

A transdisciplinary coalition of scholars, activists, and policymakers have published Menstrual Justice: A Human Rights Vision for Australia. They offer policy recommendations "regarding the discrimination and mistreatment often experienced by people who menstruate in the areas of children’s rights, disability rights, gender rights, health, human rights, Indigenous women’s health, industrial relations, law, political economy, psychology, public health, sociology, and tax law and policy." 

We need laws that clearly outlaw workplace discrimination and harassment against menstruators, so no one is fired for bleeding on the job or being late to work due to period pain. We need public awareness campaigns and curricular expansion focused on health information and the eradication of menstrual stigma to curb poor menstrual health. We need access to resources and healthcare for residents in institutional settings that supports their autonomy over menstruation and menopause. We need provision of Indigenous intergenerational teaching about menstruation and menopause.

* * * 

Our recommendations include the areas of public awareness, curriculum, schools, workplaces, public buildings and housing, institutional settings and discrimination and coercion. Many of these recommendations are no cost or low cost but could have a large impact on gender equality and would improve human rights for women and other people who menstruate.

June 5, 2023 in Healthcare, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 26, 2023

Book The Cambridge Companion to Gender and the Law Asks To What Extent is the Legal Subject Gendered

Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez & Ruth Rubio-Marín, eds.,  The Cambridge Companion to Gender and the Law  (Cambridge U. Press 2023)

To what extent is the legal subject gendered? Using illustrative examples from a range of jurisdictions and thematically organised chapters, this volume offers a comprehensive consideration of this question. With a systematic, accessible approach, it argues that law and gender work to co-produce the legal subject. Cumulatively, the volume's chapters provide a systematic evaluation of the key facets of the legal subject: the corporeal, the functional and the communal. Exploring aspects of the legal subject from the ways in which it is sexed and sexualised to its national and familial dimensions, this volume develops a complete account of the various processes through which legal orders produce gendered subjects. Across its chapters, each theoretically ambitious in its own right, this volume outlines how the law not only acts on the social world, but genders it.

May 26, 2023 in Books, Family, International, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 22, 2023

Center for Reproductive Rights publishes report on "Failures to guarantee the sexual and reproductive health and rights of refugees from Ukraine"

The Center for Reproductive Rights published a report on "Care in Crisis: Failures to guarantee the sexual and reproductive health and rights of refugees from Ukraine in Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia."  The report chronicles how millions of people, mostly women and children, have migrated from Ukraine to the EU, including Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. 

However, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia are some of the most challenging contexts in Europe when it comes to sexual and reproductive healthcare and gender-based violence support services. Decades long failures by national governments to invest in and prioritize these forms of care and support, combined with restrictive and unclear legal and policy frameworks and ongoing stigma and rollbacks on sexual and reproductive rights, heavily constrain access to good quality care.


As millions of women and girls from Ukraine arrived in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, serious concerns arose regarding their ability to obtain essential forms of healthcare, services and support. It became clear that violations of fundamental rights within Ukraine were being compounded by rights violations outside of the country. There was particular concern for refugees who had suffered conflict related sexual and gender-based violence in Ukraine, including rape and other gender-based crimes.


Between July 2022 and April 2023, our organizations undertook in-depth, multi-country fact-finding to examine the gaps and barriers in access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and gender-based violence support services that are faced by refugees from Ukraine in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Over nine months, we collected information from semi-structured interviews with over 80 experts, professional stakeholders and refugees from Ukraine based across these four countries.

The article describes the legal barriers, cost barriers, and information barriers, as well as the poor quality care, stigma, and discrimination that these refugees faced in each country. The report offers concrete recommendations to each of the countries.

May 22, 2023 in Abortion, Healthcare, International, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Understanding Gender Through an Economic Frame and the Lens of Decertification of Legal Sex

Davina Cooper, De-producing Gender: The Politics of Sex, Decertification and the Figure of Economy,  
Forthcoming, Feminist Theory, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14647001221148639

This article explores the contribution that the figure of economy can make to understanding gender in contemporary Britain, focusing on gender as a social quality and legal category that is produced, allocated and used. The article proceeds in two parts. The first part considers the politics of sex-based feminism and gender-as-diversity through an economic frame. The second part focuses, in detail, on one specific juncture where these diverging politics meet: decertification – a law reform proposal to dismantle the system for assigning, registering and regulating legal sex. Decertification is a controversial strategy. Advocates argue that self-expression and interpersonal communication, whether through gender or against it, is hindered by a state-based disciplinary certification system. Critics disagree. They argue that dismantling legal communication about a person's sex makes it harder to put categories of female and woman to remedial use. Drawing on other uses of certification, including commercial ones, this article suggests that certification not only communicates information about a process, quality or thing; it also contributes to their production. The impact of decertification on how gender is produced, what gets produced as gender and the uses to which gender is put are central to determining whether decertification is beneficial to a progressive transformative gender politics.

May 18, 2023 in Gender, International, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Gendered Barriers to Access for Legal Aid Programs in Canada

Gillian Petit & Lindsay Tedds, Systematic Barriers to Justice: Financial Eligibility for Legal Aid- A Gendered Analysis 

Provinces and territories across Canada offer legal aid programs to facilitate access to justice for those who are economically disadvantaged. While requirements differ by province/territory, eligibility for legal aid is dependent on having a case of merit and having income and assets below a certain threshold. In this paper, we focus on income thresholds for legal aid, and empirically measure their impact on gendered access to family legal aid. We find that legal aid income thresholds pose a higher access barrier to single women living in MBM poverty in BC, Alberta, and Ontario compared to single men living in MBM poverty, families with children living in MBM poverty, and residents of Quebec. We show this is due to different distributions of income and the placement of the legal aid income threshold. This analysis is an example of how GBA+ should be applied to examine systematic barriers to program access.

May 16, 2023 in Family, Gender, International, Poverty | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 15, 2023

Pizzarossa et al., on "Self-Managed Abortion in Africa"

Scholars Lucía Berro Pizzarossa, Michelle Maziwisa, and Ebenezer Durojaye have published "Self-Managed Abortion in Africa: The Decriminalization Imperative in Regional Human Rights Standards, in the Health and Human Rights Journal (May 2023). The abstract provides:   

Self-managed abortion holds particular promise for revolutionizing people’s access to quality reproductive care in Africa, where the burden of abortion-related mortality is the highest globally and where abortion remains criminalized, in violation of various internationally and regionally recognized human rights. Increasingly safe and effective, self-managed medication abortion is still subject to many restrictions, including criminal laws, across the continent. Drawing on recent evidence and human rights developments around self-managed abortion, this paper explores whether and to what extent Africa’s regional legal framework builds a normative basis for the decriminalization of self-managed abortion. We conclude that the region’s articulation of the rights to dignity, to freedom from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, and to nondiscrimination, among others, provides strong grounds for decriminalization, both concerning individuals who need abortions and concerning the constellation of actors who enable self-management.

May 15, 2023 in Abortion, International | Permalink | Comments (0)