At the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), we advocate for the rights of women and girls across Canada. We work to advance their substantive equality rights through litigation, law reform, and public education to bring about legal change and awareness.
Since 1985, LEAF has intervened in over 100 cases that have advanced equality rights in Canada, including cases seeking to eliminate gender discrimination in the workplace, ensure access to reproductive healthcare, provide better maternity benefits and spousal support, and prevent the use of myths and stereotypes in sexual assault cases.
Our work is only possible with the help of pro bono counsel, community partners, volunteers, and our generous supporters.
LEAF litigates and educates to strengthen the substantive equality rights of women and girls, as guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Substantive equality recognizes historically and socially based differences, and challenges systemic and structural discrimination. Since 1985, LEAF has made significant gains for women in numerous important cases, advancing substantive gender equality in areas of law such as reproductive justice and access, pay equity and workplace discrimination, housing, immigration, child and spousal support, and sexual assault and gender-based violence.
LEAF has intervened in over 100 cases relevant to women’s and girls’ equality and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in more than 60 different appeals. LEAF has intervened to provide its expertise in almost every Supreme Court of Canada case that has set precedent in the law of sexual offences.
LEAF’s expertise and case history is used by legislators, policy makers, and organizations as a catalyst for change and as resource in the development and reform of laws and policies. Our litigators and researchers are frequently called upon to offer expertise in policy areas including, social benefits, criminal justice, reproductive rights, and violence against women – nationally and internationally.