This case concerned “reverse” discrimination in the context of women’s only self-defense classes. 

LEAF supported Wen-Do Women’s Self Defense in its defence before the Ontario Human Rights Commission. 

Facts 

Michael Celik, supported by a men’s rights group, filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He argued that his rights to equal treatment were violated when Wen-Do did not let him participate in their women’s only self-defense program. Wen-Do offered a safe space for women to speak about their fears and experiences with sexual violence.  

Arguments 

Wen-Do, supported by LEAF, argued that its mandate was geared towards promoting women’s equality. As a result, it had not violated the Ontario Human Rights Code.  

Outcome 

The Human Rights Commission agreed that denying a man access to a women’s self-defense course was not discrimination.  

LEAF is grateful to Sheila McIntyre, counsel in this case. 

Our records are imperfect, but we are doing our best to update them – if you were involved with LEAF on this case but your name is not reflected here, please email us at [email protected].