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CAAWS’ Sex Discrimination in Sport — An Update Paper Available Online

release by SIRC

May 27, 2009 (Ottawa, ON) – In keeping with its mandate to encourage girls and women to both participate and lead in sport and physical activity, CAAWS has recently prepared an update to its original report on sex discrimination in sport. Since the landmark ruling Blainey v. Ontario Hockey Association in the late 1980s, there have been further cases that, while not breaking entirely new legal ground, have nonetheless influenced the interpretation and application of anti-discrimination laws in more subtle ways.

In one legal ruling, an all-female fitness club was not required to provide membership to a man who had been denied it, yet in another, a hockey league was required to allow a female player onto a boys’ team. Such seemingly contradictory decisions can leave sport administrators scratching their heads about what might, and what might not, constitute sex discrimination in sport.

In Sex Discrimination in Sport — An Update, lawyer and sport management professor Hilary Findlay provides an up-to-date legal snapshot of the “˜lay of the land” as it applies to sex discrimination today. This report begins with seven real-life discrimination scenarios that set the stage for an explanation of the subtle issues that now enter legal analysis of discrimination. Federal and provincial jurisdiction is described, along with some of the unique circumstances of the Canadian sport system that make a jurisdictional analysis somewhat challenging.

English and French copies of both the full report and the executive summary are available to download free of charge (in PDF format) here

CAAWS will be distributing hard copies to all National/Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations, Multisport Service Organizations, and Canadian Sport Centres.

A limited number of additional hard copies are also available free of charge, with a small fee to cover shipping costs if ordering 25 copies or more. Please email your request to caaws@caaws.ca for further information.

CAAWS provides leadership, education and builds capacity to foster equitable support, diverse opportunities and positive experiences for girls and women in sport and physical activity. CAAWS envisions an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders. A not-for-profit organization, CAAWS offers a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, health professionals and recreation leaders. CAAWS works in close co-operation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for young girls and women in the sport and physical activity communities. Visit www.caaws.ca for more information.

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