Statement by Minister Monsef on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence
November 25, 2019
Ottawa – The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, today issued the following statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:
“Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. It is a time to reflect on and renew our commitment to ending violence against women, girls and people of all gender identities and expressions across Canada and around the world. Every Canadian – regardless of gender – has the right to live and work in safety.
This year we also mark the 30th anniversary of the tragic shooting at École Polytechnique in Montreal. Each year on the National Day of Remembrance, December 6, we say aloud the names of the women lost in that attack, and recommit our effort to end gender-based violence.
For Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte – we will continue working and we will never give up.
Women represent the vast majority of those who experience sexual violence. They make up nine in ten survivors of sexual assault, and almost eight in ten intimate partner homicide victims. Research indicates that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are twice as likely to experience a violent crime, and that non-binary, transgender, two-spirit and other gender-diverse people experience high levels of violence in Canada.
Our Government has made important progress and is committed to continued serious and concrete action to end gender-based violence. We have heard the courageous voices of survivors, advocates, those working on the front lines and academics, whose voices have informed the first-ever federal Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.
In response to what we’ve heard, we have increased supports for survivors and their families, and are working to make the legal and justice system more responsive and accessible. We heard that commemoration is a crucial part of the healing process, and are supporting activities to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, including LGBTQ and two-spirit people. We are also addressing campus violence and online harassment and bullying, working to end human trafficking, and creating more shelters for women and children escaping violence.
We know that #OurActionsMatter, which is why it is the theme of this year’s campaign. No one person or government can end gender-based violence alone—it will take all of us to create safe homes, communities, and workplaces. To join the chorus of voices calling for an end to gender-based violence: use the hashtag #OurActionsMatter from now until December 10, share messages of support and how you are taking action to end violence against women and girls, LBGTQ2 individuals, and people of all gender identities and expressions, and wear purple today to help raise awareness of the need for action on this critical issue.
To the advocates and service providers who have been at the front lines of this effort, thank you for the work you do, and thank you for bringing government along with you.
Together, we can end gender-based violence in all forms. This is the Canada we all deserve: where everyone is free from violence, harassment, and intimidation.”
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
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