December 6th is Canada’s National Day of Action and Remembrance on Violence Against Women.
Today is the day Canadians are supposed to take a few moments, and remember the tragedy and senseless murder of 14 women at L’Ecole Polytechnique on December 6th, 1989. We are also to asked to remember all of the women who have been victims of violence.
What we must be reminded of, now, more than ever, is that the Action part of this National Day has never been more critical.
As we work here and around the globe, a sad reality has dawned on me in 2016. Our march towards ending gender-based violence and realizing gender equality is not guaranteed to move in the direction of progress. In fact, there is a real threat that we may be moving backwards. Your action; our action is needed more than ever. Your actions matter.
While the public discourse may be more visible than ever, we have seen what happens to women who come forward to seek justice against acts of violence. While social norms can change for the better, we clearly see how hatred and misogyny can be emboldened by political events south of the border. While more women access services that provide safety and support, we are also adding more women’s names to memorials. And the most vulnerable women are in as much danger as ever before. Indigenous women, racialized women, disabled women, queer women.
We have it within us to make a difference. We cannot be complacent any longer. The only thing lacking is the will to change. White Ribbon, and our women’s activists’ colleagues have many concrete steps you can take. Here are a few links to get started. Start today.
I will leave you with six short words for December 6th.
Until the violence stops,
Todd Minerson, Executive Director White Ribbon
Additional links to December 6th events and vigils. Please share any we have overlooked.
Ryerson: http://ryersonian.ca/rye-takes-part-in-16-days-of-action/ and http://www.ryerson.ca/equity/events-workshops/dec-6-memorial/
Women Won’t Forget (Philosphers Walk, UofT): http://www.womenwontforget.org/
Further vigils courtesy of UFCW (list to the right of the post): http://www.ufcw.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3138:december-6-national-day-of-remembrance-and-action-on-violence-against-women-in-canada&catid=55:news&Itemid=283&lang=en