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: firstname.lastname@example.org and Bill.Morneau@parl.gc.ca
Please take the time to tell the government to put our money where their mouth is!