Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is 30

Canadians have been asked to weigh in on the conversation re the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, April 17, 2012.

There is an ad with a young woman extolling sec. 15 of the Charter guaranteeing women’s equality rights with men in Canada.

Those are very pretty words on paper, BUT the truth of the matter is that women still receive less pay for work of equal value in Canada.  And, women are still forced into patriarchal harems in Canada.

I am curious to know how informed the young woman in this ad is regarding a segment of our population, i.e. concubines in polygamous harems, who have no choice of marriage, not procreation choices, and who are forced to abide by patriarchal rule that dictates every measure of their lives.

On November 23, 2011, Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the Supreme Court of British Columbia declared sec. 293 constitutional.  He equated all forms of polygamy with harm!  Harm to women, children and society at large.

Yet, to this day nearly five months later, no charges have been pressed against the egregious crime of polygamy in Canada and all the other inherent crimes associated with it:  forced child marriage, trafficking of women and girls across the border for marriages, denial of proper education, abandonment of boys and young men, sexual assault and abuse, etc.

Am I celebrating the 30th anniversary of our Charter?  No, I am in mourning.  Mourning for a system that just doesn’t seem to want to work to ensure equality of all women under the Charter!

Nancy Mereska, President

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