Award of Excellence in the Promotion of Women’s Equality

Award Recipient

2018 Award Recipient

Pamela MacEachern
Partner, Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP

Pamela will be honored at an award dinner on Monday, May 28, 2018 at Twenty Toronto Street Conferences and Events, Toronto.

Award Presentation Information

About the Award

The Ontario Bar Association Women Lawyers Forum historically has presented the Award in alternate years. The Section is committed to recognizing the diversity of Canadian women in its selection of Award recipients.


The Award recognizes the significant contributions made by feminist lawyers to the promotion of women’s equality rights in Canadian society, through their work for social justice or the advancement of substantive law. It reflects the spirit of s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as expressed and developed in the substantive equality jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada.


To be eligible for the Award, the nominee must be a woman lawyer at any stage in her career who has demonstrated her commitment to the values of equality and equity by her outstanding, sustained contribution to the advancement of women’s equality in Canada. The recipient must be a CBA/OBA member in good standing.

The recipient’s contribution may be made through the practice of law, through teaching and scholarship, through work for law reform or through service to an organization or to the community, in any professional setting. Her activities on behalf of women must exemplify Charter and human rights values.

The individual should agree to the nomination and confirm her intention to attend the awards dinner in May 2017.

Section Award Committee

The Section Award Committee consists of the Section Chair, the immediate Past Chair and one other member of the Section Executive, who is appointed by the Chair.

Nomination and Selection Process

The Section Executive, by e-mail and by announcement on the Section’s web page, invites Section Members in good standing to nominate women lawyers who have made an outstanding, sustained contribution to the advancement of women’s equality in Canada.

At a minimum, a nomination package must include: a nomination letter that sets out the achievements and actions that make the nominee worthy of being honoured; up to two supporting letters (can be on behalf of an individual or organization); and a CV or biography. Optional: where appropriate and available, the nomination package may also include a list of the nominee's recent publications or reported cases, including web links.

We encourage diversity in nominations.

The Section Award Committee will set the deadline for nominations each year.

The Section Award Committee will consider all nominations and select the recipient of the Award. The consent of the selected recipient must be obtained before the Award recipient is announced.

Presentation of the Award

The Award is presented at a dinner and ceremony.

The Award is an inukshuk statuette. It symbolizes the role of the recipient in navigating Canadian law and society toward full recognition of women’s equality.

Additional Information

Blossom Pangowish
CPD and Sections Coordinator
(416) 869-1047 ext. 399 or (800) 668-8900

Past Recipients

Shalini Konanur

2017 Award Recipient

Shalini Konanur

Ms. Konanur was honored at an award dinner on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at Twenty Toronto Street Conferences and Events, Toronto.

View Photos of Event

Past recipient winners of the OBA Commitment to Equality Award include:

  • 2017 - Shalini Konanur
  • 2016 - Sukanya Pillay
  • 2015 - Professor Brenda Cossman
  • 2014 - Kate A. Hughes, Toronto
  • 2012 - Mary Lou Fassel, Toronto
  • 2009 - Dr. Emily Carasco, Windsor
  • 2007 - Dr. Ursula Franklin, Toronto
  • 2005 - Linda Silver Dranoff, Toronto
  • 2002 - Mary Eberts - Toronto
  • 2001 - Michele Landsberg
  • 1998 - Anne S. Derrick,  Halifax (now a Judge)
  • 1997 - the late Doris Anderson
  • 1996 - The Honourable Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, Quebec