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Copyright (c) 2002 Osgoode Hall Law School
Osgoode Hall Law Journal

ARTICLE: The Charter, Equality Rights, and Women: Equivocation and Celebration (c)

(c) 2002, D. Majury.

Fall / Winter, 2002

40 Osgoode Hall L.J. 297





The Charter, 1 and particularly the equality rights provision 2, has generated a proliferation of legal and social science scholarship; it has been the subject of innumerable conferences, symposia, and workshops. Much of this Charter writing and talking has been of the abstract, think-piece type of scholarship 3 --to which this article aspires to contribute. This attention alone tells us a great deal about the significance of the Charter and its impact--it has us talking, thinking, writing, and debating about the role of law, its possibilities and its limitations, its seductions and its portents. And, while the questions and the arguments relating to law more generally, as well as to specific attempts to use law to further social change, may basically be the same as they were in pre-Charter days, the Charter has reinvigorated these debates such that they are very much alive and lively, informing and directing the more specific, focused Charter analysis. As someone who would describe herself as a Charter pragmatist 4, I savour the questions and challenges that force me to think more deeply, more skeptically, more bigpicturely, and, I hope, more radically, about Charter work--its effectiveness, its limitations, its unintended consequences, and its larger political and social meanings. I think that we all need to be held accountable, and to account, for our thinking and for our activism; these intense Charter discussions and disagreements are an important part of that process of accountability.

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