Statement by Minister Ien on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 


Ottawa – The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, issued the following statement today on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:

“Everyone has the right to live free from violence. However, many Canadians face violence every day because of their gender, gender expression, gender identity, or perceived gender. Indigenous women and girls, racialized women, women living in rural and remote communities, people in 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and women with disabilities, are at even greater risk to experience gender-based violence. Today on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Government of Canada affirms its commitment to a Canada free from gender-based violence. We must not relent until all women are safe. 

Today is also the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an annual campaign that invites Canadians and people worldwide to help prevent and eliminate all types of gender-based violence. The campaign ends on December 10, Human Rights Day, as a sobering reminder that gender-based violence is the most pervasive, deadly, and deeply rooted human rights violation.

This year’s theme, “It’s Not Just,” reminds us of both the injustice of gender-based violence and how society dismisses and minimizes behaviours and beliefs that contribute to it.  

People experience gender-based violence in many ways, including emotional, financial, physical, or sexual violence. If you suspect someone in your life is experiencing gender-based violence, reach out to local services for assistance. Support is available. To those experiencing gender-based violence, speak to someone you trust. Ask for help. You are not alone.

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has taken a wide-reaching approach to combatting gender-based violence, including by:

  • Introducing the first-ever federal strategy to address gender-based violence
  • Dedicating 25% of the National Housing Strategy to support women and their families who are escaping violence
  • Banning assault-style weapons and putting a freeze on the sale and transfer of handguns within Canada
  • Moving forward on the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, the Government of Canada’s contribution to the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan
  • Listing coercive control as a form of family violence in the Divorce Act
  • Dedicating up to $30 million over five years for crisis hotlines
  • Working with provinces and territories to deliver the National Action Plan to end Gender-Based Violence and support survivors

As a result of these efforts, more than 1.3 million individuals experiencing violence have had a place to go and access to support.

Our work does not stop here. On December 9th, Women and Gender Equality Canada will begin accepting applications for a new program of funding to prevent and address gender-based violence. This funding will be split into two streams: promising practices, and community-based research. I encourage eligible organizations to learn more at the Women and Gender Equality Canada website and get their applications ready!

As Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, I encourage you to use the next 16 days to reflect on the impacts of gender-based violence and to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #16Days. Gender-based violence must not be tolerated in Canada. All of us have a role to play in ending the cycle by addressing attitudes and behaviours that contribute to gender-based violence.”


Johise Namwira
Press Secretary and Issues Manager
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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