Statement to mark the end of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence


December 10, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Women and Gender Equality Canada

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, issued the following statement for Human Rights Day, which also marks the final day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. 

“Over the past 16 days, the Government of Canada urged collective, whole-of-society action to end gender-based violence and make Canada a safer place. We issued statements for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, and National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6.  Federal buildings in Ottawa and legislative buildings across the country were illuminated in purple on both these days, the colour associated with raising awareness of gender-based violence in Canada. On December 6, bouquets of white roses were also displayed in the House of Commons and the Senate to commemorate the victims of the massacre at Polytechnique Montréal in 1989.  

Today, Human Rights Day, marks the last day of the 16-days of Activism. It also marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today and every day, we must recognize that many communities are still denied basic human rights because of race, colour, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national or social origins, birth, or other status. Protecting human rights is the foundation on which we can find solutions to our common challenges. 

Over the past 16-days, the Government of Canada continued to raise awareness on the work that is underway to prevent and address gender-based violence:  

  • Women and Gender Equality Canada announced: 
    • Bilateral agreements with the Government of New Brunswick and the Government of British Columbia to support the implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. To date, we have announced bilateral agreements to end gender-based violence with 11 of 13 provinces and territories. 
    • Up to $1.8 million for six organizations to advance gender equality in New Brunswick This funding will support these organizations build capacity, conduct community-based research and help address systemic barriers. 
    • A social media campaign highlighting how people can listen, learn and act to understand and prevent gender-based violence.
    • The continuation of the awareness campaign “It’s Not Just” that empowers youth to identify and challenge views and actions contributing to gender-based violence.
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada announced funding for 31 Indigenous-led projects that will contribute to ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people; such as, the Ontario Native Women’s Association’s Indigenous Victim and Family Liaison Program expansion project that will provide support and guidance for families of MMIWG2S+ to navigate health and wellbeing supports that are culturally relevant and available to them.
  • Justice Canada announced more than $1.1 million funding for projects aimed at addressing gender-based violence in New Brunswick and Alberta. These projects provide help to survivors of intimate partner violence and family violence, through supports for safety plans for women at risk of violence in Alberta, as well as culturally relevant, safe and sensitive services for Indigenous women and their children who are subjected to violence in New Brunswick. 
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada announced $550,000 in funding to Queen’s University for the development and implementation of interactive online training modules that will help educators across Canada in recognizing, preventing, and responding to gender-based violence.
  • The Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics (Statistics Canada), with funding support from Public Safety Canada, released the report Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2022. This report uses police-reported data to examine trends in human trafficking incidents. 
  • Statistics Canada, with funding support from the Department of National Defence, released the results from the 2022 Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is actioning recommendations from the 2022–2023 Annual Report of the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson: Emphasis on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The CRA is working to improve web resources and engage with stakeholders to determine the best way to connect with individuals impacted by GBV to help them better access information about benefits and credits they may be entitled to.

These examples illustrate the important steps we are taking together to advance gender equality and end gender-based violence in Canada. As WAGE celebrates its 5th anniversary as Canada’s first stand-alone federal department dedicated to advancing women and gender equality, I pledge once again to continue working with and for women and 2SLGBTQI+ communities to build a country where everyone feels valued and respected.   

As Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, I hope you all had the chance to reflect on how to put into practice this year’s theme of Listen. Learn. Act. While the 16 Days campaign is over, I encourage you to continue to apply this year’s theme every day to help end this widespread violence. We all have the right to live free from violence and discrimination.” 


Nanki Singh
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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