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Gender and Diversity: A Discussion Paper

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Excerpt: "The questions 'Who is a woman?' and 'What are her rights?' would have been easy to answer three decades ago but are now a matter of intense discussion among feminists and others. Feminist theories have evolved with our understanding of women's experiences. Nevertheless, the more that we understand about women's oppression, the more complex and theoretical is the debate. Diversity in feminist conceptualizations (and theories) of gender, identity, location, epistemology, and discourse has opened up the debate about diversity in interpretation and application. By analyzing two key Royal Commission reportsÑone on the status of women and the other on violence against women we see how our understanding has evolved regarding gender, the complexity of integrating diverse individuals with varying identities to a common cause, and the long road to gender equality that Canadians still need to traverse.