The National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) is a not-for-profit, feminist organization that represents a nationwide membership of lawyers, law students, academics and other individuals who share a commitment to gender equality. Since 1974, NAWL has been promoting women’s equality through legal research, advocacy, reform and public education.
Pursuing electoral reform is an important issue for equality-seeking women in Canada, and is the main focus of the following paper. The limitations of the current First Past the Post (FPP) electoral structure will be examined from the perspective of the Canadian women’s movement and its policy priorities. Furthermore, three mechanisms for political change will be investigated according to the ability for elected representatives to pursue a feminist policy agenda, including the establishment of a national Feminist Party, the implementation of gender parity within the existing political parties, and the introduction of proportional representation. The possibility of fully realizing a women’s equality agenda within the federal legislature is doubtful without a means by which increased numbers of feminist women are elected to the Canadian Parliament, and are thereby sanctioned to participate in public policy debates on the basis of their feminist principles, regardless of party.