National Association of Women and the Law

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

National Association of Women and the Law

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Association nationale de la femme et du droit

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Description area

Dates of existence



"The National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) is a Canadian non-profit feminist organization that has worked to improve the legal status of women in Canada through law reform since 1974.
In 1974, NAWL was created at a conference held at the University of Windsor law school. NAWL was initially headed by the National Coordinating Committee based out of the University of Ottawa Law School, Common Law Section, then later governed by a regionally representative National Steering Committee that acts as a Board of Directors and is elected by the membership. Among other things, the Steering Committee has oversight over finances and budgeting.
NAWL has used its unique research as a foundation for effective action and advocacy. Through its educational work, NAWL has played a vital role in raising public awareness about legal issues affecting women. NAWL has played a major role in the following milestones towards women's equality: Sections 15 and 28 in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; the amendments to the sexual assault laws; positive changes to family law and to the divorce act; rape shield legislation; criminal harassment legislation.
L'Association nationale de la femme et du droit (ANFD) est une organisation féministe canadienne à but non lucratif qui œuvre depuis 1974 à l'amélioration du statut juridique des femmes au Canada par le biais d'une réforme du droit.
L'ANFD a été créée en 1974 lors d'une conférence organisée à la faculté de droit de l'Université de Windsor. L'ANFD a d'abord été dirigée par le Comité national de coordination basé à la Faculté de droit de l'Université d'Ottawa, section Common Law, puis par la suite par un Comité national de direction représentatif au niveau régional qui fait office de Conseil d'administration et qui est élu par les membres. Le Comité directeur est notamment chargé de superviser les finances et le budget.
L'ANFD a utilisé ses recherches uniques comme base d'une action et d'un plaidoyer efficaces. Par son travail d'éducation, l'ANFD a joué un rôle essentiel dans la sensibilisation du public aux questions juridiques qui touchent les femmes. L'ANFD a joué un rôle majeur dans les étapes suivantes vers l'égalité des femmes : Les articles 15 et 28 de la Charte des droits et libertés ; les amendements aux lois sur les agressions sexuelles ; les changements positifs apportés au droit de la famille et à la loi sur le divorce ; la législation sur la protection contre le viol ; la législation sur le harcèlement criminel."


Legal status

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Mandates/sources of authority

NAWL's Mission Statement
"NAWL is a national non profit women's organization which promotes the equality rights of women through legal education, research and law reform advocacy. We recognize that each woman's experience of inequality is unique due to systemic discrimination related to race, class, sexual orientation, disability, age, language and other factors. In our view, a just and equal society is one which values diversity and is inclusive of it. We are committed to working collectively, and in coalition with other groups to dismantle barriers to all women's equality."

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Abstract from the organization’s web page

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