Kasari Govender is a lawyer and the executive director of West Coast LEAF (Women’s Legal Education & Action Fund), an organization that uses the law to create an equal and just society for all women and people who experience gender-based discrimination in B.C. In addition, she represents the organization in interventions in equality rights litigation at all levels of court, appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada on multiple occasions. She is the co-author of the 2012 report, “Blueprint for an Inquiry: Lessons from the Failures of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry” and is a regular commentator in local and national media on equality and other human rights issues.
Before joining West Coast LEAF, Kasari practised constitutional, equality and aboriginal law. She earned her degree in law from the University of Victoria, and her master’s in international human rights law from the University of Oxford. She was an adjunct professor of law at the University of British Columbia, sat on the board of directors for the Pivot Legal Society, and co-chaired the Coalition on Public Legal Services. She is currently the founding president of Rise Women’s Legal Centre in Vancouver, B.C. and sits on the board of governors of the University of Victoria. She speaks frequently on access to justice, women’s equality and legal responses to gender-based violence. When she’s not knee-deep in constitutional law, non-profit management and the feminist movement, Kasari can usually be found running around after her toddler.