LEAF’s Feminist Strategic Litigation (FSL) Project examined the use and impact of feminist strategic litigation to help LEAF, feminists, and gender justice advocates more effectively combat systemic discrimination and oppression.
What was the project about?
To help plan LEAF’s future litigation work, we heard from 189 organizations from across Canada who told us about the key areas of need facing the women and girls they serve. We also carried out a year-long research and consultation process, including over 65 consultations with community organizations, feminist academics, and advocates fighting for gender justice. That process led to the release of our report on understanding the impact of FSL: “This Case is About Feminism: Assessing the Effectiveness of Feminist Strategic Litigation.”
In October 2020, we hosted a three-day virtual symposium. Gender Justice Now brought together activists, organizers, academics, lawyers, and front-line service providers from across the country to strategize about law and gender justice. Key topics discussed included:
- Intersectionality and gender justice
- The colonial legal system and justice for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA persons
- Opportunities and challenges for using law in the current moment
In spring 2022, we launched our Feminist Strategic Litigation (FSL) Plan. This five-year plan will guide LEAF as we use litigation to advance gender justice.
LEAF’s FSL Plan sets out five key priorities for 2022-2026:
- Prioritizing reconciliation, decolonization of legal and social systems, and harm reduction
- Tackling issues central to gender equality by taking on cases that advance:
– Reconciliation and decolonization
– An end to gender-based violence and violence against women
– Reproductive justice
- Better centering the needs and expertise of those experiencing gender-based discrimination
- Building on our strength in interventions, while exploring other litigation opportunities for the future
- Working within the bigger picture, including through broader advocacy strategies and alongside the existing work of grassroots movements, communities, and partner organizations
Special thanks to:
- The members of the FSL Project’s Steering Committee (in alphabetical order): Adriel Weaver, Cee Strauss, Elizabeth Shilton, Pam Hrick, and Rosel Kim
- The members of the FSL Project’s Advisory Committee include (in alphabetical order): METRAC, Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, Karen Segal, DAWN Canada, Linda Silver Dranoff, Nathalie Léger, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, West Coast LEAF, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
- Women and Gender Equality Canada, for its support and funding of this project