In 2005, Status of Women Canada (SWC), the principal agency responsible for gender-based policy analysis and advocacy within the federal government, launched a nation-wide consultation on gender equality in Canada. This stocktaking, the first since the mid-1980s, coincided with a number of significant milestones in the unfinished struggle for women’s equality in Canada. Thirty-five years had passed since the release of the agenda-setting Royal Commission on the Status of Women (Canada 1970) and it had been 30 years since Canada, along with other UN member states, declared 1975 as the International Year of Women (IYW), and the beginning of the UN Decade of Women. Moreover, it had been ten years since Canada had enthusiastically endorsed the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, which invited governments to mainstream gender into the development and implementation of all policy initiatives. Although gender equality had been on the federal government’s legislative agenda for more than three decades, SWC reported that progress toward this goal was uneven and, in some cases, reversing. Just as disconcerting, SWC observed, was a growing perception, especially among women’s organizations, that Canada’s governments were not taking ‘its commitments to women seriously’ while many other Canadians had the false impression that ‘gender equality had been achieved’ (2005: 1). The Canadian experience, it would appear, parallels the Australian case, where Anne Summers, a former head of the Australian Office of the Status of Women, recently lamented ‘we have come to the end of equality’ (Summers 2003: 6).