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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Gallagher

Meet the Members - DFLA

The Dalhousie Feminist Legal Association (DFLA) is a student-led society at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. We have over 40 individuals registered as current members, and a database of over 350 members/alumni who we keep up-to-date on our programming. Our organization organizes activities that support our mandate of enhancing education, offering resources and support, providing a safe space, and advocating for equality and inclusivity within and outside the law school. Additionally, we also raise money for local organizations that align with our society’s values. A large focus of our programming is centred around Gender Equity Week in March, which will include events focused on the intersectionality of feminism, access to contraception and reproductive health rights, policy changes required to reduce the presence of domestic violence in Canada, and more.

What is your society's social issue focus?

The Dalhousie Feminist Legal Association is focused on gender equality in the legal profession, and within society more broadly.

What are ways that your society has been involved in said social issues?

We have collaborated with the National Association of Women in the Law to understand the laws around domestic violence, policy changes that are required to better support victims of DV, and how young legal activists can be part of this change. We also continue to raise money for local organizations, such as Adsum House (a 24/7 emergency shelter for women, children and trans folk). 

How do you feel student involvement in these social issues can impact change?

Student involvement in gender equality issues can have a transformative impact on multiple levels. Students can play a crucial role in raising awareness about gender equality issues on campus and beyond. Through events and awareness campaigns, they can educate their peers and the community about the importance of gender equality, which helps to dispel myths and stereotypes. Through discussions, events, and initiatives, they can create an environment that encourages and fosters a more inclusive and accepting community.

Student involvement can extend to advocating for gender-inclusive policies within educational institutions and society more broadly. This may include pushing for policies that address issues like equal representation, and the prevention of gender-based violence. DFLA is aimed at creating a supportive community for law students interested in gender equality, which we have learned can be a powerful force for change. This community can provide emotional support, share resources, and collaborate on projects and initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality. Student involvement in social issues, such as gender equality within the legal profession, plays a vital role in shaping a more inclusive and equitable society.

What can your society do this year and in the future to spark social change?

As mentioned above, we have several events that we are planning for this upcoming year that will focus on addressing gender equity within various facets of society. An exciting event that we are planning for January 2024 is a networking event to allow law students at Schulich Law to network with female legal professionals from a vast array of backgrounds, including professionals with business law, public law, and government backgrounds. There will be female professionals from boutique firms, larger firms, and government positions present. Given that the legal profession has historically been male-dominated, it is a primary focus of DFLA to help young law students build their legal network, which is an important stepping stone for their legal career.

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