Mary Eberts, co-founder of LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund), joined Professor Sarah Kaplan, Director, Institute for Gender + the Economy, in an on-stage discussion about gender-based violence.
This event held on December 5, 2017, was co-hosted by the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
About the conversation
As UN Women states, “From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.” Gender-based violence is not only a civil rights issue, it is an economic issue.
Mary Eberts, co-founder of LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund) joined Professor Sarah Kaplan, Director, Institute for Gender + the Economy, in an on-stage discussion about sexual harassment and sexual violence. In it, we highlighted the personal costs to the person affected and her family, the social costs and the costs to organizations. We concluded that the formal legal system does not serve most women well and that other organizations, including unions, schools and employers can and must fill the gaps with their own systematic and fair approaches. We also reflected on the need for fundamental cultural change so that violence against women is eliminated.
About Mary Eberts
Educated at Western University and Harvard law schools, Mary Eberts has appeared as counsel to parties and interveners in the Supreme Court of Canada, Courts of Appeal and Superior Courts in Ontario and other provinces, the Federal Court and Court of Appeal, and before administrative tribunals and inquests across Canada. She was instrumental in securing the present language of section 15 of the Charter, and was one of the founders of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). Since 1991, she has been litigation counsel to the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC). In 2014, she was appointed Constitutional Litigator-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law.
Her academic career includes the Gordon Henderson Chair in Human Rights at the University of Ottawa (2004-2005) and the Ariel Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan (2011 and 2012), where she taught courses in test case litigation. She has received the Law Society Medal, the Governor-General’s Award in Honour of the Persons’ Case, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and several honorary degrees.