Status of Women and Human Rights

The Ontario Human Rights Code

Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the first in Canada, was enacted in 1962. The Code prohibits actions that discriminate against people based on a protected ground in a protected social area. Protected grounds are:

  • Age
  • Ancestry, colour, race
  • Citizenship
  • Ethnic origin
  • Place of origin
  • Creed
  • Disability
  • Family status
  • Marital status (including single status)
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Receipt of public assistance (in housing only)
  • Record of offences (in employment only)
  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation.

Protected social areas are:

  • Accommodation (housing)
  • Contracts
  • Employment
  • Goods, services and facilities
  • Membership in unions, trade or professional associations.

Human Rights in Canada

In Canada, human rights are protected by federal, provincial and territorial laws. The Canadian Human Rights Act protects people in Canada from discrimination when they are employed by or receive services from the federal government, First Nations governments, or private companies that are regulated by the federal government. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of Canada’s Constitution and protects every Canadian’s right to be treated equally under the law.

Committee Reports


Karen’s presentation, entitled Long Term Care: The Past, The Present/COVID-19 and The Future, shone a bright light on key issues in long term care.  It should be noted that, as Ms. Henderson pointed out, these issues are longstanding:  it is the impact of the COVID pandemic on LTC problems which has caught the public’s attention … read more.

Terms of Reference

The mandate of this Committee is to be a forum for Ontario Council members involved with advocacy issues related to the Status of Women and Human Rights (SWHR), in Ontario. This committee, together with the Advocacy Committee, is responsible for the development and communication of CFUW OC SWHR related policies … read more.