Section 28 adopted into draft of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Announcement Date: 1981

Section 28 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states the following: “Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.”

In February 1981, the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) planned a conference for women to discuss the potential impact of the entrenched charter of rights being proposed as part of the constitutional patriation process. The federal government cancelled the conference and, in response, Doris Anderson, President of the CACSW, resigned in protest. Feminist groups organized a counter conference and formed a coalition, the Ad Hoc Committee of Canadian Women on the Constitution. On 14 February 1981 about 1,300 women met in Parliament to demand a specific clause on equal rights between women and men.

Subsequently, in April of 1981, Section 28 was adopted as a part of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms and was signed into law in 1982 as a part of the Charter.