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F.5.b.iii.1. Canada

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Bruckert, Chris ; Law, Tuullia, Women and Gendered Violence in Canada: An Intersectional Approach, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2018, pp. 416

This book draws on a range of theoretical traditions emerging from feminism, criminology, and sociology, to challenge the narrow idea that domestic violence and sexual assault are phenomena of interpersonal violence perpetrated by men. The authors highlight the diversity of women’s experience, discuss the role social structures play, and include discussions of workplace and state violence. The first section develops the conceptual and contextual framework, and the following three sections focus on types of victimization: interpersonal, in the workplace, and by the state. Accounts of individual experiences are used throughout to personalize the issues discussed.

Finley, Sara-Jane ; Avola, Ryan ; MacFarlane, Fiona ; MacFarlane, Fiona ; Berdahl, Jennifer, Beyond #MeToo and #IWill: Changing Workplace Culture, Video, The University of British Columbia, 2017

Webcast sponsored by the Iving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by alumni UBC with Equity and Inclusion. #MeToo. #IWill. Awareness is important, but how do we move beyond hashtags and words to making real change for women in the workplace? New accusations of harassment keep coming to the fore – from Hollywood to Wall Street to Commercial Drive. In response, thousands of women have posted “#MeToo” on social media. Men have since responded with #IWill, signaling their individual commitment to take action in order to prevent harassment in their midst. But what next? How do we go beyond awareness to actual – and more permanent – change? This video includes a panel discussion that examines this issue and explore options for moving forward.

Hastie, Bethany, Workplace Sexual Harassment: Assessing the Effectiveness of Human Rights Law in Canada, Report, Vancouver, University of British Columbia, 2019, pp. 66

This report analyzes substantive decisions on workplace sexual harassment at each of the BC and Ontario Human Rights Tribunals from 2000-2018, to ascertain how the law of sexual harassment is understood, interpreted and applied by the Tribunals’ adjudicators. In particular, the report examines whether, and to what extent, gender-based stereotypes and myths, known to occur in criminal justice proceedings, arise in the human rights context. It also examines substantive decisions on sexual harassment in the workplace from 2000-2018.

Jones, Emma, Why sexual assault survivors can’t say #MeToo at some Canadian universities, The Discourse, 12/04/2018,

Exposes the widespread phenomenon of Canadian universities censoring students who want to denounce episodes of sexual harassment. The article includes the report by OurTurn – a national, student-led action plan that aims to implement strategies to end sexual violence on campus, and sets out the policies survivors have to follow while filing a complaint. The National Our Turn Action Plan provides guidelines for student unions and groups to: prevent sexual violence and eliminate rape culture on Canadian campuses; support survivors and create a culture of survivor-centrism at Canadian institutions; and campaign for policy and legislative reforms at the campus, provincial and national levels.

Mengesha, Weyni ; Dreyer-Lude, Melanie ; Clarke, Kristian ; Shaw, Kathryn ; Warwick, Jacqueline ; Palmer, Alisa ; Dubois, Frédéric, Institutional Responses to #MeToo: A Conversation, Canadian Theatre Review, Vol. 180, 2019

Theatre administrators, artistic directors, and heads of programmes from across Canada discuss about how institutional policies and cultures have shifted in the wake of #MeToo. The participants reflect on the challenges of assessing the impacts and effects of a cultural movement that is still unfolding and how #MeToo has changed the relationship between training institutions and the performing arts industry.

Moeke-Pickering, Taima ; Cote-Meek, Sheila ; Pegoraro, Ann, Understanding the ways missing and murdered Indigenous women are framed and handled by social media users, Media International Australia, Vol. 169, issue 1, 2018, pp. 54-64

Hashtags such as #timesup and #metoo illustrate the growing international concerns about the sexual violation of women. The media plays a large role in promoting negative racial and gender ideologies about Indigenous women. In Canada, where there is a national crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW), researchers have collected data from social media and identified how degrading texts about Indigenous women perpetuate a racialized violent discourse. Many Indigenous peoples, including Indigenous youth, have smart phones and/or other ways to access social media, so they too are exposed to the discourse that subjugates, vilifies and dehumanizes Indigenous women, many of whom are family or community members. The authors’ research investigates the messages shared through the hashtag ‘#MMIW’ and identifies a reframing by hashtag users. The results indicate how social media play a role in perpetuating stereotypes about Indigenous peoples, but also how they can be used to combat those messages.

Nixon, Lindsay, #MeToo and the Secrets Indigenous Women Keep, The Walrus, 05/12/2018,

Discusses the linkage between toxic masculinity, patriarchy and the commodification of Indigenous women in Canada.

Puddister, Kate ; MacNabb, Danielle, #MeToo: In Canada, rape myths continue to prevent justice for sexual assault survivors, The Conversation, 05/03/2019,

Criticises the law that entered into force at the end of 2018 – Bill C-51 – that is intended to counter-act under-reporting and “ensure that victims of sexual assault and gender-based violence are treated with the utmost compassion and respect.” However, the authors argue, there is nothing in the law to protect against judicial misapplication or inappropriate methods of defence in court.

Quinlan, Elizabeth, Sexual Violence at Canadian Universities: Activism, Institutional Responses & Strategies for Change, Waterloo, Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2017, pp. 360

This book addresses a major problem of rape and rape culture on campus, revealed by media coverage of ‘rape chants’ at Saint Mary’s University, misogynistic Facebook posts from Dalhousie University’s dental school, and high-profile incidents of sexual violence at other Canadian universities. University administrations were called to account for their cover-ups and misguided responses. Quinlan explores the causes and consequences of sexual violence on campus as well as strategies for its elimination, drawing together original case studies, empirical research, and theoretical writings by scholars and community and campus activists. Topics covered are the costs of campus sexual violence on students and university communities, the efficacy of existing university sexual assault policies and institutional responses, and historical and contemporary forms of activism associated with campus sexual violence.

Raney, Tracey ; Collier, Cheryl N. ; Lore, Grace ; Spender, Andrea, Democracy During #Metoo: Taking Stock Of Violence Against Women In Canadian Politics. A Comprehensive Scope Report Prepared For Equal Voice, Report, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2019, pp. 45

One hundred years after some Canadian women were given the federal franchise, women remain significantly underrepresented in every legislature across Canada. Indigenous women, women from racial minorities, and young women face particular problems, which reduce representation even further. While barriers to participation are broad and pervasive, sexual harassment and violence against women in politics - whether in the form of direct threats, implied threats, violent symbolic images, and physical violence - play a significant role in limiting women’s political participation. This report presents non-partisan, evidence-based research on how governments, legislatures, civil society, and non-governmental organizations have addressed the problem of violence against women in politics both within and beyond Canada. The report draws on extensive Canadian and global research and also a number of interviews with current and former women politicians from across the political spectrum, who have bravely spoken out about their experiences of sexual harassment and violence in Canadian politics.

Rentschler, Carrie, #MeToo and Student Activism against Sexual Violence Communication, Culture and Critique, Vol. 11, issue 3, 2018, pp. 503-507

This article examines how students organize and use media to address sexual violence, the problem of faculty/student relationships, and the failures of some institutional response. It notes, in particular, how students make sexual violence public through the use of open letters; how they create anonymous and informal online reporting platforms for students to disclose sexual violence; and how they model practices of accountability and survivor-centred care.

Wright, Kailin, Performing This is For You, Anna as #MeToo: Sexual Harassment and Performance-Based Activism on a University Campus, Canadian Theatre Review, Vol. 180, 2019, pp. 27-35

In 2017, two students at St. Francis Xavier University were arrested on charges of sexual violence. In support of student survivors, Theatre Antigonish staged the feminist collective piece ‘This is For You, Anna’ in 2018. This article focuses on how the on-campus production and audience responded to acts of gender-based violence. In examining the St. Francis Xavier University production and creation process, this article asks, what can theatre do for student survivors? How can theatre enact change on campus?