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West Coast LEAF

Vancouver, Canada
Joined June 2017

West Coast LEAF is the first and only organization in British Columbia, Canada dedicated to promoting women’s equality through the law.

Presence in: Canada
Focus: Family, Gender-based violence, Women's Rights
West Coast LEAF is the first and only organization in BC dedicated to promoting women’s equality through the law. West Coast LEAF and our sister organization LEAF have helped bring about some of the most important victories for women in Canada: safe access to reproductive rights; fair workplace standards; fair separation agreements; “no means no” in sexual assault; the right to be free of sexual harassment from landlords, and more.
We’ve been working since 1985 to end discrimination against women. We do this through equality rights litigation, law reform, and public legal education.

We envision a society in which women are full participants in all social, economic, and political activities. We believe that differences must be respected and supported by the law, and by social and institutional practices. West Coast LEAF is committed to a vision of feminism that is inclusive of persons who are transgender and/or intersex and of their equality rights to be free from sex and gender discrimination. We envision and are committed to a society that fully realizes the rights of Indigenous peoples.

West Coast LEAF promotes substantive equality, an approach that recognizes and celebrates differences. Rather than treating everyone the same, substantive equality ensures that historically disadvantaged people can actively participate in society and access justice. We strive to ensure that the equality principles in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which advance the rights of all disadvantaged and marginalized groups, are fulfilled.

West Coast LEAF offers trusted legal voices, respected advocates, and passionate educators on women’s equality issues. We expose, educate, and work to end discriminatory policies and practices to create a more just society. West Coast LEAF is based in Vancouver and focused on issues in BC, but we take action in matters of national significance in collaboration with LEAF.

People Associated With This Organization

Kasari Govender

West Coast LEAF
Joined June 2017
Interests: Family, Gender-based violence, Women's Rights
I am the Executive Director of West Coast LEAF, the first and only organization in BC, Canada, dedicated to promoting women’s equality through the law. I am a lawyer, with a Master's Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. I am the founding President of Rise Women’s Legal Centre, have sat on the board of Pivot Legal Society, the Coalition for Public Legal Services, and Society for Children and Youth, and was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia. I have appeared before every level of court in BC, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and am currently counsel in a constitutional challenge against the government for failing to provide adequate family law legal aid to women leaving abusive relationships.

West Coast LEAF does extensive work in access to justice to women, and by joining this network, I hope to gain a better connection to those doing similar and related work around the world.
Kasari Govender is the network champion (main point of contact) for West Coast LEAF.

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