End Violence Against Women: December 6
November 16, 2010, 3:43 PM EST
On December 6, CAW members across the country will organize memorials, forums and events to commemorate the 14 women who were murdered at L'École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. The day, marked as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, provides an opening for all citizens and activists to challenge the issue of gender-based violence in Canada.
In a letter to CAW local union presidents as well as women's and human rights committees, Julie White, CAW Director of Women's Programs, said that this horrific event changed how Canadians confronted the issue of male violence against women. It also propelled the political mobilization of women within unions and across communities to demand societal change.
"We are breaking the silence around violence against women and men have been helping in this regard," White said. "As we continue our anti-violence campaign with women's equality seeking groups and the broader labour movement, we are hopeful that we are making a difference, but the numbers tell us otherwise."
Statistics suggest that today more than 49 women are killed each year by their partners or ex-partners in Canada.
"Eradicating violence against women lies in a systemic plan that includes well-funded support and counseling services for women. It includes a justice system that champions their rights rather than turning them once again into victims. It includes access to affordable housing, living wages and a national child care program. It also means access to unemployment benefits and decent pensions, and it means a national campaign aimed at ending violence against women," said White, who also noted that an impending federal election provides another opportunity to put gender-based violence on the political agenda.
To recognize the 21st anniversary of this event, the CAW has produced new commemorative buttons that are available to members through their local unions. Commemorative bookmarks are also available.
Local unions planning to organize events that commemorate December 6 are encouraged to send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.