Parliament Hill to Commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

News release

December 6, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, commemorated the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women and the 30th anniversary of the mass shooting at l’École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989, by announcing that in honour of this year’s anniversary, Parliament Hill will beam 14 purple rays of light between 5:10 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. today to coincide with the period of time when the victims’ lives were taken.

Thirty years ago today, 14 women were tragically murdered simply because they were women. Their names were Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colga, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz. By beaming rays of light from Parliament Hill, we commemorate them, honour the friends, families, and communities left behind, and raise awareness that #OurActionsMatter, this years’ theme for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

The 16 Days of Activism reminds us that everyone should take action by listening to others, believing survivors, speaking up against gender-based violence and taking action to make our communities safer. We all benefit when women and girls, and people of all gender identities and expressions are safe and able to live their lives to the fullest.

Quotes

“To build a culture of inclusion and respect where women and people of all gender identities and expressions are valued, everyone needs to be an active part of the solution. Tonight, Parliament Hill will be lit up with 14 purple rays of light – one to represent each of the lives needlessly taken 30 years ago at l’École Polytechnique. Our Government is committed to ending gender-based violence in all of its forms, and making clear that it has no place in our society.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Quick facts

  • On December 6, 1989 14 women were murdered, and many others were injured, at l’École Polytechnique simply because they were women. The shocking impact of this attack led Parliament in 1991 to designate December 6 as a national day of remembrance and action.

  • The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence start on November 25 with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and end on December 10, with International Human Rights Day.

  • On June 19, 2017, the Government of Canada announced It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, the first federal strategy of its kind. The Strategy is a whole-of-government approach that brings together all federal efforts to prevent and address gender-based violence (GBV). Federal partners under the GBV Strategy include: Women and Gender Equality Canada (formerly Status of Women Canada); the Public Health Agency of Canada; Public Safety Canada; the Department of National Defence; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Under this strategy, the Government of Canada has invested over $200 million to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and promote responsive legal and justice systems.

  • Women are at a 20 per cent higher risk of violent victimization than men when all other risk factors are taken into account.

  • Of all self-reported sexual assault incidents in Canada, nearly half (47 per cent) were committed against women aged 15 to 24, and 41 per cent of all sexual assaults across Canada were reported by students.

  • According to police-reported data, reports of sexual assault saw considerable increases after #MeToo went viral in October 2017, with sexual assault reports on school, college, or university property nearly doubling (+87 per cent) compared with the average number reported per quarter before #MeToo (439 versus 235 incidents).

Associated links

Contacts

Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
343-549-8825

Valérie Haché
Senior Communications Advisor
Women and Gender Equality Canada
819-420-8684


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