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Quebecer wants to add weight discrimination to Charter of Rights and Freedoms
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A Quebec activist is fighting 'fatphobia' -- and she wants it enshrined in Quebec's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Edith Bernier launched a petition in the National Assembly Thursday to amend an article of the Charter to add discrimination based on appearance, particularly on the weight of people.
Bernier is founder of the grossophobie.ca website. Her petition is sponsored by Quebec Solidaire spokesperson Manon Massé.
The petition cites the World Health Organization (WHO), which states that weight-based discrimination contributes to social isolation, putting obese people at a greater risk of developing both physical and psychological health problems. The petition also states that the WHO has determined that size-based discrimination can affect access to and the quality of health care, employment, graduation rates and pay.
"Fatphobia is defined as 'all hostile attitudes and behaviours that stigmatize and discriminate against fat, overweight or obese people' and that it is a socially accepted phenomenon," the petition reads, adding that "this discrimination is largely based on the belief that body weight is the result of personal choices, despite the fact that science has demonstrated the contrary."
The petition so far has 477 signatures.
- With files from The Canadian Press