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Charter Prag.doc

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Social Science
SOSC 2350
Dena Demos

The practical approach to problems and affairs itself can be referred to as pragmatism. On the contrary, Charter pragmatism is defined as the critical analysis of the Charter’s static nature and how well it can work to ensure change and obtain equality in gender rights. It is important to recognize that the Charter’s shift in change from the socio- political arena to the judicial arena has been criticized both by left-wing and right-wing members. One primary concern about this shift of power was that the courts were seen as undemocratic due to the leaving of decisions to unelected judges who were largely unaccountable. As a result, judges displayed no concern about people understanding the law hence, this critique of the Charter is seen as undemocratic. Another general pitfall is that the Charter is infused with formal equality in the sense that rights are symmetrical meaning they have no substantive content causing an indeterminancy of rights which is problematic. This contributes to injustice in terms of restricting gender rights when it comes to factors like maternity leave which only affects some women. Since males don’t receive maternity leave, then neither should females. This notion of formal equality of the Charter masks and sustains inequality rather than addressing and resisting it. Another criticism is that moving from the political arena to the court arena has displayed rights on a more individual basis other than group based causing violations to be directed at the level of the individual. This concept has depoliticized issues of power and domination that is making the issue apolitical and removing its substance. This is a problem in terms of a gender rights perspective because it defocuses from the “greater issue” in society, substantial equality. Therefore, this defocusing ensures that it is easier to avoid critical perspectives in society such as discussions about gender oppression that serve to advance society. In various ways the charter has also been extremely beneficial. As such, it has allowed for judges to critically analyze the applications of legislature that protected minority rights. In terms of specific gender rights application, judges have taken the previous rape law and sexist legislation and pointed out their informal control of women to re- enforce patriarchy. Essentially, this has helped advance women’s rights by questioning these forms of sexist legislation. In addition, the courts have also provided one forum in which to challenge the majority dominance. Considerin
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