What Section 15 has Achieved
Keywords:women's movement, women judges, equality rights
The triumphant Canadian women’s constitution fight was a “political earthquake.” Massive lobbying efforts created or amended, inserted, and defended two sections relevant to sex equality—sections 15 and 28—in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Responses from both provincial and federal governments included the appointment in 1982 of the first woman justice of the Supreme Court, Bertha Wilson. A series of court challenges under section 15 resulted in a legal earthquake with respect to equal treatment for sexual preference. The presence of women justices on the Canadian Supreme Court—a political change—may produce the level of scrutiny that section 28 was intended to invoke.
Le combat constitutionnel triomphant des femmes canadiennes a été un « cataclysme politique ». Les efforts massifs de lobbying ont permis de créer ou de modifier, d’insérer et de protéger deux articles pertinents à l’égalité des sexes—les articles 15 et 28—dans la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés. Les réactions du gouvernement fédéral et des gouvernements provinciaux ont comporté la nomination, en 1982, de la première femme juge à la Cour suprême, Bertha Wilson. Une série de contestations judiciaires en vertu de l’article 15 a provoqué un cataclysme juridique en ce qui concerne l’égalité du traitement face à l’orientation sexuelle. La présence de femmes juges à la Cour suprême du Canada—un changement politique—pourrait entraîner le degré de minutie que l’article 28 visait à invoquer.
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