On issues pertaining to women and girls, Stephen Harper’s federal government positioned Canada as a “beacon of light” in the world. Programs were developed in relation to women’s maternal health and the protection of the girl child, but other actions point to an ambiguous and even contradictory approach that failed to address gender inequality.
In Obligations and Omissions, contributors examine Canada’s equivocal - and diminished - role in working toward gender equality in the period between 2006 and 2015. Using a critical feminist lens to document, analyze, and challenge Canada’s relations with the Global South, chapters explore the extent to which matters of gender equality have been erased or exploited under the Harper government and the factors that explain these policy shifts. While the contributors document successes in Canada’s approach to some issues facing women and girls around the world, they also show many problems with the ways that agenda was framed and implemented under the Conservative government.
Drawing on rich theoretical investigation, empirical research, and discourse analysis, Obligations and Omissions reveals a complex picture of diverse practices, underscoring the implications of these actions for communities in the Global South, for Canada’s image in the international community, and for future governments in the pursuit of a renewed gender equality strategy.