LEAF is a national charitable organization that works towards ensuring the law guarantees substantive equality for all women, girls, trans, and non-binary people.
The realization of substantive equality for all women, girls, trans, and non-binary people in Canada.
- inclusiveness and openness
- integrity and ethical behaviour
LEAF’s mission is to advance substantive equality for all women, girls, trans, and non-binary people. “Women” includes both cis and trans women.
Gender equality is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities. When someone’s gender identity or gender expression puts them at a social, political, or economic disadvantage, they experience discrimination because of their gender.
In Canadian society, cis and trans women, trans, intersex, gender-diverse, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, bigender, and non-binary people all experience discrimination based on their gender. LEAF is committed to advancing their substantive equality, consistent with our thirty-seven-years (and counting) of advocacy to advance substantive gender equality for those who face gender-based discrimination.
*Some Two-Spirit people – an umbrella term encompassing gender and sexual diversity in many Indigenous communities – also experience gender-based discrimination. As a settler organization working through the Canadian legal system, LEAF will be conducting a learning process in consultation with Two-Spirit organizations and individuals to determine the appropriateness of including Two-Spirit folks in our mandate. LEAF strongly supports the creation of Indigenous Legal Orders. As legal systems based in Indigenous legal traditions, Indigenous Legal Orders have more potential to advance equality rights for Two-Spirit people than the colonial Canadian system does.
LEAF’s office is located in Tkarón:to, which is a Mohawk word that means “the place in the water where trees are standing.” This land is governed by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, a nation to nation peace agreement between the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, the Wendat, and other allied nations. All of us who share this territory share the responsibility to take care of the land and the creatures we live alongside. We must also work to ensure that the dish is never empty, and keep the peace.
Acknowledging the history of the land also requires us to reflect on LEAF’s position as an organization working for gender justice in the context of a legal system grounded in colonialism and white supremacy. This system formed a part of efforts to erase and eliminate Indigenous persons and their cultures. Colonial laws and policies continue to subject Indigenous persons, in particular Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals, to disproportionate levels of violence and poverty.
LEAF also acknowledges the resilience and strength of Indigenous persons and communities, who have fought and continue to fight back against these systems of oppression. We must do more to centre the voices of those who face marginalization, acknowledge our complicity in this system, and push back not only against patriarchy, but also colonialism, white supremacy, and racism. Only by doing so can we truly work towards gender justice, and justice for all.
LEAF’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026LEAFs-Strategic-Plan-2021-2026-3
Download LEAF’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026.