Women’s Press
Canada’s leading academic feminist publisher
Canada’s leading academic feminist publisher
232 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
November 2001
Print ISBN: 9781894549110
Purchase Options
Send To A Friend


Many women today have broader life choices than previous generations of women. Yet, despite the advances made, women who become mothers still find that their social and economic realities are severely constrained. If women have children, they are faced with the question of how to provide for their children's care while also satisfying their own interests and maintaining their economic security.

In Double Jeopardy, Lorna Turnbull takes a close and critical look at the positions of mothers in contemporary Canadian society. Many mothers in paid employment face the challenge of the double shift, the constraints on career imposed by family responsibilities, a reduction in earnings and the restricted availability of childcare. Mothers who care for their children full-time face isolation, the devaluation of their motherwork and a loss of income if they have withdrawn from paid employment. The law plays a major role in defining the situation in which women mother and at the same time overlooks the different experiences of single mothers, lesbian mothers, divorced and married mothers.

Drawing on current legal cases, Turnbull demonstrates how income tax law, including the childcare deduction and child tax credit, as well as pension and family law, affect mothers' choices and economic security. Turnbull believes that the law can and should serve mothers better. By changing taxation policies and other laws, it is possible, she argues in Double Jeopardy, to bring about progressive measures that will benefit mothers both in the home and the workplace.

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Equality for Mothers: Starting with the Everyday

Chapter Two: Regulating Mothers: The Law and Feminism

Chapter Three: Seeing Mothers: Invisibility and Poverty

Chapter Four: Becoming Mothers: Pregnancy and the Law

Chapter Five: Being Mothers: The Legal Characterization of Motherwork

Chapter Six: Taxing Mothers: Income-Tax Rules and Motherwork

Chapter Seven: Supporting Mothers: Strategies for Change

Chapter Eight: Justice for Mothers: Reforming Law

Table of Cases

Lorna Turnbull

Lorna A. Turnbull is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. She has taught in Women's Studies at York University and in Law at Osgoode Hall Law School and Columbia University School of Law. She has been a guest speaker at symposiums and conferences and has published in legal and feminist journals on the issue of motherwork and the law.


"A remarkable facility to make complex analyses clear."

"Cutting edge ... a work which should be found on every bookshelf."

"This book is a highly original contribution to the discussion of how law is implicated in the imposition of social and economic constraints on mothers and the work they do. Particularly exciting is the consideration of strategies for change — a must read for anyone interested in how best to bring about reforms aimed at promoting women's equality."
—  Claire Young, Professor of Law, University of British Columbia

Student Resources

General Student Resource - Download