Women And The Law: Your Rights In Alberta
Calgary Caucus, National Association of Women and the Law

Year Published:  1982  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX2591

Abstract:  WOMEN AND THE LAW is a booklet that takes a special look at the law from the perspective of women. In certain circumstances, Alberta law treats women differently from men; in other circumstances, particular laws affect women more than the affect men. It is the hope of the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) that their booklet will help Alberta women avoid legal problems and better understand their legal situaiton.

Topics covered include: Young Women: Differences between Common Law Union and Legal Marriage; Battered Wives; Indian Women; Women with Children, Working Women, Women with Money, and Women in General (which discusses birth control, abortion, rape and human rights).

A discussion of "domicile" ( the place that a person considers her permanent home) reveals that for a married woman, her domicile is that of her husbands for legal purposes other than obtaining a divorce. For example, a husband may accept a job anywhere and the wife must follow him or she may be considered a deserting wife and/or mother. Normally, if a wife accepts a job in a distant place her husband is under no legal obligaiton to follow her.

The Indian Women section points out that the definition of status Indians under the Indian Act has caused considerable controversy because of the sex discrimination involved. The definition is geared towards creating identical statusfor all memebers of a nuclear family unit. All children of a father defined as "Indian" under the Act have status, but a woman takes the status of her husband upon marriage. However, the status of an illegitimate child whose mother is a status Indian may be challenged if the father is a non-Indian. The Indian woman who marries a non-Indian loses her status. Even if she later divorces him, she may not regain her status and thus may not be able to return legally to her reserve.

WOMEN AND THE LAW also provides advice for "Getting Your Rights". They note that knowing what your rights are is only half the battle: you must also be prepared to assert your rights.