Tag Archives: Women’s Caucus

Osgoode Feminist Collective (previously known as: Osgoode women's caucus)

Name change: the Osgoode Women’s Caucus is now the Osgoode Feminist Collective (link is to their Facebook page).  Lest you thought that younger women were avoiding the F word en masse, pending rebranding.  Why do people think this?

OFC (love the new acronym almost as much as the new name? i do) announced their name change last week.  If you know or are an alumna of this long lived and fierce organization, what do you think?  Here are a few snippets from the announcement at last week’s feminist tea, with thanks to the current co chairs.

In our efforts to bring a feminist voice to Osgoode and the wider York Campus, Women’s Caucus attempts to work within an anti-oppressive framework. For the past couple of years, we have been discussing the direction of our group and how this relates to our name.  We thought improvements could be made. We would like our name to be more reflective of the anti-oppressive politics and multiple feminisms that the our members embrace, as well as recognizing that feminism is practiced and welcoming to people of all genders.

We narrowed down our choices and recently asked our members to vote. As a result, we are happy to announce that with an overwhelming majority, we have decided to change our name to “Osgoode Feminist Collective.”

The October tradition of the Feminist Tea has celebrated person’s day. Some of you who know me may know that I’ve long had a problem with Person’s Day.  See here for some past rants (i know – the money changed).  The Osgoode Feminist Collective had a set of slides running in the background at the tea to consider the complicated meanings of Person’s Day.  These remind me of my general preference for nuanced critical thought over ranting….

It’s been over 80 years since women in Canada were declared qualified persons, yet as the daughter of immigrant parents, it feels far less distant. The memory of my mother’s pride on her first day as an eligible voter, after 10 years of contributing to her Canadian community, is very close indeed. This memory is one that I reflect on and reminds me why the battle for equality is not yet over.

Persons Day reminds me that we are all complex beings, with complicated relationships to feminism and history. It reminds me of the importance of being able to talk about and through those complicated relationships in order for us to respectfully commemorate the hard work of the five women in Edwards. But also so that we recognize the many other racialized women who had been organizing around their rights as women and racialized persons then, and who continue to organize and advocate for their communities today.

Edwards is an example of how only 5 determined women were able to make such momentous changes, despite the great resistance they faced. Such examples of strength remain an encouragement for current battles.

My gratitude to the women of Women’s Caucus’ past and Osgoode Feminist Collective’s present and future and all the inspiration, knowledge and support they have given.

Events at Osgoode: Meet a Gladue Caseworker; Dialogue about "Honour Killings"

It’s a pleasure to be an institution where students are active in creating links between the community and the school and opportunities to learn.  Here are two events coming up.

OCTOBER 24: A Dialogue About “Honour Killings” in Canada

Brought to you by Osgoode’s: Muslim Law Students’ Association, South Asian Law Students’ Association, and Women’s Caucus

What are ‘honour killings? • Are ‘honour killings’ different from other forms of violence against women? If so , how? • Have ‘honour killings been discussed accurately and fairly in the media? • Should there be a specific Criminal Code provision to address ‘honour killings? Why or why not? • And more

Panelists: Deepa Mattoo (Staff Lawyer, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario) •Kripa Sekhar (Executive Director, South Asian Women’s Centre) •Nader Hasan (Partner, Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan LLP)

Refreshments Provided.  Poster here. OCT 24 @ 12:30 IKB 2001

 OCTOBER 31: Gladue & Sentencing

Please join the Osgoode Indigenous Students Association (find them on Facebook here) to hear from Jennifer Bolton, a Gladue Caseworker from Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, who will be speaking to faculty and students on Gladue sentencing principles.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012    12:30-2:00   Room 2010    Lunch will be provided

Who Should Attend:  This event will benefit faculty and students interested in criminal law and Aboriginal law, sentencing, equity, equality, criminology. .

The Supreme Court of Canada in a landmark decision called R v Gladue(http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/1999/1999canlii679/1999canlii679.html)  held that a court must take into consideration alternatives to incarceration with respect to Aboriginal offenders during sentencing. The court made the following comment at paragraph 64 after reviewing the statistics of Aboriginal peoples in custody:

These findings cry out for recognition of the magnitude and gravity of the problem, and for responses to alleviate it.  The figures are stark and reflect what may fairly be termed a crisis in the Canadian criminal justice system.  The drastic overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples within both the Canadian prison population and the criminal justice system reveals a sad and pressing social problem.  It is reasonable to assume that Parliament, in singling out aboriginal offenders for distinct sentencing treatment in s. 718.2(e), intended to attempt to redress this social problem to some degree.  The provision may properly be seen as Parliament’s direction to members of the judiciary to inquire into the causes of the problem and to endeavour to remedy it, to the extent that a remedy is possible through the sentencing process.

Since the Supreme Court’s judgment, Gladue principles have not  been consistently applied in courts. Recently, in  March 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Ipeelee (http://scc.lexum.org/en/2012/2012scc13/2012scc13.html) confirmed Gladue principles and held that the failure to apply these principles “would run afoul of this statutory obligation. Furthermore, the failure to apply the Gladue principles in any case would also result in a sentence that is not fit and is not consistent with the fundamental principle of proportionality.  Therefore, application of the Gladue principles is required in every case involving an Aboriginal offender, including the breach of an LTSO, and a failure to do so constitutes an error justifying appellate intervention.”


Mark your Calendar: Osgoode Women's Caucus Tea: Monday October 17, 2011 1230-230

How lovely! I love tea.  I have a complicated relationship with Person’s Day, (click for my reasons or click here for a visual representation),

but I do like tea. Hope to see you at this Osgoode Women’s Caucus event.  It was fun, and delicious, last year.

Meet and mingle with women’s caucus members, feminist and feminist-friendly faculty

October 17, 2011, 1230-230, Room 2011, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.