Celebrating Women’s Achievements and Advocacy in Law on IWD

March 8 marks International Women’s Day, (IWD), a global day of action and a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. It is a day to reflect on the progress made towards gender equality and to recognize the challenges that lie ahead.

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) is uniquely positioned to observe the intersection of gender and the law, witnessing both the strides forward and the areas where significant work remains.

In Ontario, Canada, and around the world, women continue to face violence, discrimination based on gender and inequality in various forms. As legal advocates, we see how these issues manifest in the workplace, in public institutions and even within the home.

OTLA is passionate about righting past wrongs, calling out unfairness and shining light on practices that promote discrimination. We are also passionate about celebrating the successes of incredible women advocates and judges in our industry. This year, Maria Damiano and Laurie Tucker made history, as it is the first time that there have been back-to-back women Presidents. There are more women than men on both the OTLA Board and the Executive. Further, we celebrate the recent appointment of two of OTLA’s Board Members to the Superior Court of Justice: Madame Justice Jennifer Bezaire and Madame Justice Loretta Merritt, as well as the recent appointment of OTLA Past President, Madame Justice Claire Wilkinson, to the Bench.

The fight for gender equality is a collective effort, involving peoples of all ages and genders, all cultural and religious backgrounds, all government leaders and organizations, all individual organizations and societies across the globe. IWD is a time to remember the importance of solidarity and the need for both continued advocacy and action. 

The IWD theme this year is “Inspire Inclusion…When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment”.

As OTLA recognizes this important day on March 8, we look ahead to a future where gender equality is a reality, where women’s rights globally are recognized as human rights and where all live lives free of discrimination and violence. OTLA will continue to challenge injustice and celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements. We welcome and encourage the participation of OTLA members in furthering this cause!

Written by

Meghan is a partner at Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP, where she has practiced for the last 17 years. Her practice is focused on all types of personal injury litigation on behalf of seriously injured plaintiffs and their families. In addition to motor vehicle accident and long-term disability claims, she practices in the area of medical malpractice.