Violence is the direct expression of inequity. Here are a few things you can do:
November 25th is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and December 10th is International Human Rights Day. December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women that commemorates the lives of the 14 young women killed at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989 simply because they were women. They were targeted in particular because they had chosen to study a field, engineering, that to this day remains male dominated.
There should not have to be these days but sadly it seems there is a need. Otherwise, it is too easy to believe that since women have made gains in Canada that somehow, things will magically or even just eventually even themselves out. This is not the time for complacency as history demonstrates that the powerful do not give up that power willingly. Even the more ‘benign’ biased hiring practices and promotion policies that penalize women for doing the majority of family care-giving still ensure that women are not afforded the same opportunities as their male colleagues.
#MeToo has moved the issues of sexism, misogyny and gender-based violence to the forefront of public discussion. However, the #MeToo Backlash was immediate!
And then there is the actual violence. According to the latest figures, hate crimes and discrimination against minority groups and Indigenous communities in Canada are on the rise, and four-in-ten of such crimes are violent. In the adoption of the international 16 Days of Activism (November 25th to December 10th) against Gender-Based Violence campaign, the Government of Canada acknowledges “the disproportionate levels of violence faced by women and girls, as well as diverse populations, including Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2 community members, gender non-binary individuals, those living in northern, rural, and remote communities, people with disabilities, newcomers, children and youth, and seniors.”
This year’s theme is #MYActionsMatter. So you can check out the Government of Canada’s response – It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence
You can consider these points of action:
- Listen – be open to learning from the experiences of others.
- Believe – support survivors and those affected by violence.
- Speak out – add your voice to call out violence.
- Intervene – find a safe way to help when you see acts of GBV.
- Act – give your time to organizations working to end violence, and be the change you want to see.
You can also check out this campaign: “Time to End the Underfunding of women’s Services”
Here in Winnipeg, the West Central Women’s Resource, the North End Women’s and the North Point Douglas Women’s Centres amongst many other direct service organizations are doing phenominal work. They empower women, and any that do not identify as cis-male, to support themselves, families and communities. This is always done on precarious and inadequate funding.
Please print, sign and share the petition!
Every 25 signatures on paper gives a Member of Parliament the right to raise the issue in Parliament. You can mail completed petitions, free of charge, to your MP or any MP’s parliamentary office. This petition was initiated by NDP MP Sheila Malcomson so you may want to send it directly to her office.
You can also reinforce this petition campaign by sending your advice for the 2019 federal budget to:
Committee members on the Finance committee
Minister of Finance
Email: email@example.com and Bill.Morneau@parl.gc.ca
Please take the time to tell the government to put our money where their mouth is!
The WRHA’s Accessibility Plan was adopted in 2016 and is due to be updated. They are seeking input on the accessibility challenges and barriers that Manitobans who are using the health care system still face. The survey below will inform their 2019-2021 Accessibility Plan and help determine the WRHA’s priorities for improving access for all. The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7NLSMRW (English) and https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7NQW82W (French). It is also available in other formats upon request. If you would like to request alternative formats, please call (204) 296-7825 or request by email at ClientRelations@wrha.mb.ca. The survey will remain open until September 30, 2018.
On a related note, we are working with End Homelessness Winnipeg, Main Street Project and an advisory committee of community groups and government representatives to update Main Street Project’s 2011 Street Health Report:
This is another community research based project much like the Winnipeg Street Census. It is a much more extensive survey though that is looking to focus on the physical and mental health status of people experiencing homelessness, how they use health care and social services and their experiences accessing these systems. The goal is to help the WRHA (the project’s main funder) to better understand and meet their needs. Over 500 people will be surveyed for the research with each receiving a small honorarium for their time and willingness to share their stories. It is their generosity in sharing sometimes very tragic histories that should allow us all to take a hard look at how and what services we are providing and their effectiveness.
If you are interested in where and when the surveys are happening, both EHW and SPCW websites regularly post updated schedules and you can also check out our FB. Look for the full report in early 2019!
We had well over 200 applications for this critical role at SPCW. We are so excited (and relieved) to have found Oke! Oke completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Manitoba, where she learned to appreciate progressive approaches to social justice and development through active involvement in diverse volunteer programs. She is passionate about combatting social justice issues and supporting youth in our community. Oke has received merit awards for her service in the community including NICCOM and the Congress of Black Women of Manitoba (COBW) Award for Outstanding Achievement. Oke is our first point of contact and assists all SPCW staff in their myriad of projects and initiatives. When she’s not handling SPCW duties, you might find her singing in a choir, dancing with her choreography team or in full Warriors gear – watching Golden State basketball!
With Oke in place, we will be once again updating and backfilling our website with all the archival material we have on hand. Our community calendar and employment opportunities will be up to date and we will begin regular blogs on points of interest.
Just to highlight one, please check this out, here at our office, 432 Ellice, next Thursday, July 26th, 2018!