On May 7, 2010, LEAF made a submission to the Quebec National Assembly on Bill 94, which excludes Muslim women who wear the niqab or burqa from public services and institutions in Quebec.

LEAF argued that, rather than respecting “the right to gender equality”, Bill 94 was an act of inequality. The Bill would further marginalized and isolate an already stigmatized minority group of women based on their sex, race, and religion. More generally, women’s equality can never be achieved by legislating how women dress, whether requiring women to cover up or requiring women to undress.

A foundational principle of Quebec’s open secularism is equality. Bill 94 could not be reconciled with this important principle, nor with the rights enshrined under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms or s. 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Download the submission in English and in French below.