Retire the “Lady Barristers” Robing Room at Osgoode Hall in Favour of a Unisex Robing Room

This petition made change with 876 supporters!

The robing rooms at Osgoode Hall are just one representative example of the systemic inequality that is pervasive in the legal profession. 

The women’s (or, as it is labelled, “Lady Barristers”) robing room is very small, housing only 12 lockers, with limited room to maneuver, change, or work. 

By contrast, the men’s robing room was described by Canadian Lawyer as: “opulent and spacious with nearly 70 full-length lockers, benches, several mirrors and a spacious bathroom area. There is also a comfortable lounge section with a sofa and a large wooden table and chairs for writing any last-minute notes before appearing in court. The feel inside is that of a male locker room in an old-money golf and country club.” 

The disparity is obvious. The difference between 12 and 70 lockers alone means that the women only have a fraction of the storage space that men do in their robing room. Women in law account for approximately 50% of practicing lawyers in Ontario - there is no basis upon which they should be allocated this much less than the men in anything in the profession, let alone space. 

It’s 2019. The time for change is now. Retire the Lady Barrister robing room in favour of a unisex space where the men’s robing room currently is located that can be accessed and used by all lawyers appearing at the 130 Queen Street West courthouse. 


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