Hey Dec 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This national day of remembrance was declared as a direct response to the Montreal Massacre.
The national day of remembrance was established back in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada to mark the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. On Dec. 6, 1989 a Montreal man committed a murder-suicide killing 14 young women at l’Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal on the basis of their gender.
Violence against women and girls continues to be a serious issue in Canada: In 2008, 146 female were murdered in Canada. Forty-five of these women were victims of spousal homicide. On average, 178 females were killed every year between 1994 and 2008; It is estimated that 60% of Canadian women and girls have suffered from physical or psychological violence at some time in their life; Between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008, approximately 101,000 women and children were admitted to 569 shelters in Canada; According to the 2004 General Social Survey, Aboriginal women 15 years and older are three and a half times more likely to experience violence than non-Aboriginal women. The Native Women’s Association of Canada has documented evidence that 582 Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada in the past few decades; and Annual costs of intimate partner violence is calculated at US$1.16 billion in Canada according to UNIFEM in its report :
A dramatization of the event is entitled Polytechnique:
And if you’re looking for some more reading material on Feminist Activism post-polytechnique. Read Reframing the Montreal Massacre: Strategies For Feminist Media Activism by Maureen Bradley. I shall post a link to the pdf below:
Also Check out The White Ribbon Campaign to End Violence Against Women, who run a campaign from November 25 (the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women) until December 6, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. (SO sorry this post is late!) And as part of their campaign, here’s 16 ways to engage men and boys:
1. Think about the kind of man you want to be: kind, responsible, one that shares equally in family life and respects women and girls.
2. Be respectful towards women, girls, and other guys. Sexism and homophobia hurts us all.
3. Ask first. Whether it’s holding hands, kissing, or more, it’s important to communicate and seek consent.
4. Never use coercion, threats, or violence in your relationships with others.
5. Wear a white ribbon and pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Visit our website to order ribbons.
6. Teach your students and the youth in your community about gender equality and healthy, equal relationships.
7. Be a good role model and share with the boys and young men around you the importance of respecting women and girls. Visit http://www.itstartswithyou.ca to find out how.
8. Learn about the impact of violence against women in your community. Volunteer with a local shelter or a women’s organization. 9. Challenge and speak out against hurtful language, sexist jokes, and bullying, in your school, community, workplace, or place of worship. 10. Link your website to ours or place a banner for our It Starts With You Campaign on your website or blog and help us spread the word.
11. Accept your role as a man in helping to end violence against women. It affects everyone.
12. Start a White Ribbon Club or Campaign in your school or community. Visit our website to find out how.
13. Order our awareness materials and help educate others in your school, community, or workplace about men’s violence against women and girls.
14. Watch our collection of powerful digital stories to learn about the important connection between masculinity and gender equality.
15. As a community leader, policy maker, funder, or NGO staff member, read our issue brief to learn about the important role that men and boys can play in ending gender-based violence.
16. As a father or a family member, teaching the boys in your life about healthy equal relationships helps you do your part in creating healthy families and strengthening family bonds.