It may be World Social Justice Day today, 20 February 2017, but social justice concerns have been in the global spotlight throughout these first weeks of 2017, as activists have rallied online and on the main streets of major cities. Women are playing a prominent role in speaking out against injustice at home and abroad.

In our own province of British Columbia the inability of citizens to access their rights through the justice system is one of the most pressing concerns for the social justice community. Last week, the Canadian Bar Association released an Agenda for Justice, which proposed a series of reforms and recommendations aimed at improving access to justice for all British Columbians. One of the report’s key recommendations is to increase funding for family law services to ensure all citizens who qualify financially should be able to receive legal aid.

As an organization providing front-line service to clients, Rise staff and students are reminded on a daily basis of how difficult it can be for people to navigate the court system on their own, and of the importance of face-to-face legal services delivered by knowledgeable legal professionals. We see first hand the desperation experienced by women who cannot get the help they need in order to successfully navigate the legal system and hope to do our part to address the gap in legal services.

As Rise enters our third term, we honour those around the world who are marching, speaking, and fighting for social justice, and remain committed to delivering access to justice one woman at a time.

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