Women and the Law

Women and the Law in Newfoundland produced by the St. John’s Women’s Bureau, 1972. Cover artwork by Mary Pratt.

Every aspect of society is governed by laws – laws which dictate everything from how we must take care of our children to whether or not we may vote…

…The legal status of women obviously must be changed. As it stands, we are second class citizens, unable to enjoy many of the privileges and rights granted men.

From Women and the Law in Newfoundland, St. John’s Women’s Bureau, 1972

A major focus of the women’s movement in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 70s and 80s was working to change legislation that discriminated against women. In fact, tackling the Jury Duty Reform Act was one of the earliest activities of the Newfoundland Status of Women CouncilNewfoundland Status of Women Council (later St. John’s Status of Women Council). Other efforts to change legislation included women across the province lobbying for the Matrimonial Property Act and to ensure their rights were protected in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Section 28).