Tag Archives: IWD

Wednesday March 6th at Osgoode, tell us why you're celebrating IWD + listen to Chantelle Bowers on Women & Law + tea & career talk

women and the law poster3

In the morning of Wed. 6 March, in the Atrium space of the law school, IFLS, Women’s Caucus and International Legal Partnership will be taking pictures of you as you tell us and the world why you are going to celebrate international women’s day. Join us!.


“Women and the Law” – A Special Event to mark International Women’s Day
Chantelle Bowers, Executive Director and General Counsel, Judicial and Registry Services.  
presented by  The Centre for Refugee Studies and CERIS – The Ontario Metropolis Centre and co-sponsors The Institute for Feminist Legal Studies (Osgoode Hall Law School) and McLaughlin College.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6 1:30 – 2:30pm LOCATION: 1014 Osgoode Hall Law School (ADR Room), York University (

The presentation will focus on the importance of the Immigration and Refugee Board’s Chairperson Gender Guidelines (“Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-related persecution”), as truly path breaking and among the first in the world to consider gender-related persecution as a form of persecution that can be assessed by the Refugee Division panel hearing the claim.
This seminar is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Students are also invited to join in a tea with Ms. Bowers, an  opportunity to meet with Ms Bowers and discuss both career and substantive issues.  This tea will be held in the 3-4 in the  IFLS suite (3rd floor, just to the left as you exit faculty wing elevators).  RSVP’s required for this tea, to LGonsalves@osgoode.yorku.ca Invitation to tea with Chantelle Bowers as described in post text.

About Chantelle Bowers:

Ms. Bowers is a highly regarded senior lawyer, with 16 years post call to the Bar, in a variety of progressively more responsible positions within the federal public service. Ms. Bowers has a legal background in international criminal law, as well as a specialization in many aspects of administrative law within the Federal Courts and such quasi-judicial tribunals as the Immigration and Refugee Board. Ms. Bowers also has significant experience in the management of financial, human and material resources at a senior executive level in her current role as Executive Director and General Counsel of Judicial and Registry Services of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada.  She has also acquired an expertise in both legal and management matters in her capacity as Senior Legal Counsel for the Federal Court of Appeal; as the Registrar for the Federal Court of Appeal and the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada; and on occasion, acting for the Deputy Chief Administrator for Judicial Services of the Courts Administration Service (the “CAS”).  In her capacity as Executive Legal Counsel to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, as well as for the Chief Justice of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada for the past ten years, Ms. Bowers has gained extensive experience in dealing with complex legal and policy matters, and in providing legal opinions and strategic advice on sensitive issues to Chief Justices, other judges, and senior management within the “CAS”.  In her role as Secretary to the Federal Courts Rules Committee over that same period of time, Ms. Bowers has gained both extensive knowledge and experience in the application of the Federal Courts Rules as well as with the rules regarding the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada, and other relevant legislation before the Federal Courts. Ms. Bowers is also the Media and Public Relations Officer for the Federal Court of Appeal and the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada, and is a valued representative of the Federal Courts.

Something to read and something to listen to: "Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother" & Ursula Franklin

I’m told that the March 8 (international women’s day) edition of the CBC Radio program The Current has something for those of you in need of an Ursula Franklin fix.  Now 89, Franklin (public intellectual, scientist, Quaker, pacifist, and feminist) was on the show with two other women (including Erin Cardone, a BC reporter who thinks that Feminism has Gone Too Far).  Apparently Franklin’s thoughts are (as usual) standouts for her ability to marry clarity and complexity.  Here’s her wikipedia page, and here’s the link to the radio programme, on the theme “Women’s Work and the State of Feminism”.  And here is a review of The Ursula Franklin Reader: Pacifism as a Map by my colleague Mary Jane Mossman, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 45, No. 4, 2007.

For lawyers and others, Franklin’s essays offer much needed inspiration, as well as concrete suggestions on how to use her maps of pacifism and feminism to help achieve justice, “step by bloody small step.”

The same edition of the Current, March 8, has an powerful story on the non fiction book by Xinran, Message from An Unknown Chinese MotherHere is a review from the Financial Times of London.

Abortion is illegal in China. So is infanticide, but girls don’t qualify for the regular grain ration allotted to other family members, nor for the official grant of land reserved for their brothers. Their weddings cost money and, once married, a woman works for her parents-in-law – not her own parents. “I was ridding the family of a calamity,” said a former midwife, describing how she disposed of unwanted girls.

None of the women who told her their stories was heartless. Their lives were corroded, in many cases ruined, by suppressed feelings that poured out to Xinran, who founded and ran for seven years in the 1990s the first Chinese radio programme for women to call in and talk about their problems. Stringent economic and social sanctions governed their lives and eliminated choice. [source]

My colleague who pointed me to this story has two daughters.  So do I.  And, of course, can’t help but think it, so does Amy Chua.  Ok, lots of people have two girls (Michelle Obama!), I know it. But perhaps it gave this story a special sting for me.

I thought I knew China, that I knew Chinese women — because I’m a Chinese woman. My mother is a Chinese woman. I was very shocked when I went to China’s countryside for the first time, when I witnessed these kinds of killings.” [source]