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. Since then, 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.


Legal status

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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."

Internal structures/genealogy

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Abstract from the organization’s web page

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