Announcement

Our Actions Matter: 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Publication Date

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 5:45am

During the 16 days of Action on Gender-Based Violence, we reflect on violence against women and we remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. It is a time in which labour and communities come together, speak out, and take action to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

Every year, we reflect on the staggering rates of violence against women. According to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability,during the first eight months of 2018, 106 women and girls were killed in Canada, primarily by men. On average, this means that one woman or girl is killed every other day, a consistent trend during the past four decades. Indigenous women and girls continue to be overrepresented as victims of femicide.

But the numbers are only part of the picture.

At this time, we also reflect on the forms of structural violence against women that have emerged at an unprecedented pace in the last few weeks. Violence against women is not always overt and explicit acts of individuals, but is often the actions taken by governments and institutions.

During the last few weeks, the Progressive Conservatives called for reduced government spending, reorganization of public sector work, and redesigning of labour laws and policies, many of which directly target women.

This includes the repeal of many protections contained in Bill 148 (A plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs) that were essential to women, especially Indigenous, racialized, and immigrant women. According to the Equal Pay Coalition, the PC government’s Bill 47, cancels the proposed minimum wage, repeals equal pay protections for casual, seasonal, temporary and agency workers, repeals paid sick days, and removes scheduling provisions that move women into more stable and predictable employment. A significant proportion of women are not only employed in public sector jobs, but perform the overwhelming amount of part-time and precarious work in the province.

That means the recent austerity measures announced by the government are an attack on decent work for women workers.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Conservative government also unveiled plans to reduce increases to universal childcare, shelter spaces, and to remove planned improvements in Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Program (ODSP) passed under the previous Liberal government. Recipients will find it harder to qualify for ODSP allowances given the new definition of disability, and under new earnings exemptions, those on ODSP will have their earnings reduced by 75 cents for every dollar earned.

Also cancelled is the Basic Income Pilot Project, and paused or revoked are more than 19 other ODSP rules and changes which would have directly benefited women. Doug Ford’s plans to “restore dignity, independence, and empowerment” to those on the social assistance is clearly double-speak. If we take a look at the Basic Income Pilot project alone, studies from around the world have shown a number of positive impacts – recipients had greater opportunity to wait for decent jobs (rather than taking the first available position), were prevented from underemployment and dangerous employment, had better mental health outcomes and reported less incidents of domestic violence.For more information about ODSP and Ontario Works

During the 16 Days of Action against gender-based violence, we remember, reflect and call for response. What is at the core of the new policy and legal changes called by the provincial government is a deep disdain for women’s rights, for decent jobs, and for justice.

To find out more about what you can do, read about events in your community, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, and the campaign #myactionsmatter below.

- Provincial Women’s Committee

About the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women - December 6

In 1991, Parliament established this day of mourning and remembrance to mark the anniversary of the murders of 14 female engineering students at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989 in an act of gender-based violence.

The 14 women who were killed in this brutal act were 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.

Please attend an event to commemorate December 6 in your community and to take action. Information about the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence and a listing of events across Ontario is below.

About the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence begins includes National Day for Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women (December 6) and International Human Rights Day on December 10. The 16 Days of Activism is a time to both reflect on violence against women and to take action to end it.

This year the theme remains #MYActionsMatter. This is a call to action for all Canadians to take concrete steps to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence. Women in Canada and around the world continue to face disproportionate levels of violence each and every day. #MYActionsMatter asks the question: what will you do? You can start by taking the pledge on their website here and asking your friends and family to do the same on social media.

Events across Ontario for December 6 2018

Toronto Women Won’t Forget Vigil

29th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Philosopher's Walk South side of Bloor, West of Avenue Road, Toronto

All are welcome. Bring a rose and candle. The ceremony goes on regardless of weather.

The vigil consists of an Indigenous healing ceremony, speakers, musical and spoken word performances, including

In the spirit of remembering all women who have been murdered by men, and working toward a world without violence against women, we pledge to keep our vigil a safe and welcoming place for all women who have experienced violence or abuse. As such, we do not allow any displays of hatred, hostility or prejudice based on race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability. Anyone displaying any such sentiments will be asked to leave the vigil site. Thank you for respecting our request and cooperating to keep the vigil a safe and inclusive environment.

Event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/316672538813072/

Barrie

Time: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Barrie Hall Rotunda, 70 Collier St, Barrie

As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

Light refreshments will be served.

Please wear purple in support of women who have suffered as a result of abuse.

Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/events/539555949802722/

Belleville

Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: CORE Arts & Culture Centre, 223 Pinnacle Street, Belleville

On this day we will reflect and pay tribute to the women who have been murdered or who are missing as a result of violence. This day is about remembering the victims and to take action.

Join us for the vigil and a performance to raise awareness and to stand against gender-based violence.

This event is FREE and all are welcome.

Represented on the organizing committee are: Ontario Native Women's Association, Three Oaks, Red Cedars, Sexual Assault Centre of Quinte & District, Trenton Military Family Resource Centre, Community Advocacy & Legal Centre, Warrior Women of Quinte and Quinte Healthcare.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2262724320665638/

Guelph

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Marianne’s Park, 176 Gordon Street, Guelph

Annually on December 6th, communities will gather at vigils and memorials across the country to commemorate the 14 young women who were murdered on December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.

Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada is an annual day of mourning and remembrance for those 14 young women and the women across Ontario that continue to be taken as a result of violence against women.

Please join us on December 6 for an outdoor candlelight vigil. Please dress for the weather as there will be no indoor venue or onsite washrooms.   

Hamilton

Time: 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Galaxy Hall, 475 North Service Rd. E, Oakville

Join us as we light candles to remember the 14 young women who were killed in 1989 at Ecole Polytechnique and the murdered and missing Indigenous women.

Some of our guest speakers will include:

  • SAFE-Survivor Advocate For Empowerment
  • SAVIS- Human Trafficking

Special thanks to OSSTF District 20 Halton Teachers’ Bargaining Unit and

Unifor Local 707 for providing us with refreshments.

Doors open at 5 pm and a social will take place with light snacks and a cash bar.

Special thanks to “Art House”, George Pentchev will be performing some lovely music during the social.

RSVP: Rita Thompson- 905 635 3131 x 318 or email rthompson@uwhh.ca

Anne Smith- 905 635 3131 x 314 or email asmith@uwhh.ca

Kingston

Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Sydenham Street United Church, 82 Sydenham Street, Kingston

  • Commemorate the 14 women murdered at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1989
  • Honour all women who live with and have died as a result of gender-based and racialized violence
  • Take action to end violence against all women

Facebook https://pixel.facebook.com/events/255116578511623/

Kitchener

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Chapel, 54 Queen Street North, Kitchener (off Queen, parking off Weber)

Mark the anniversary of the death of 14 women at L’École Polytechnique de Montreal who were murdered because they were women.

Remember the thousands of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls and LDBT2QS people.

Honour the many survivors of domestic violence.

For more information on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/december-6-vigil/282558008917854/

London

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Victoria Park, 580 Clarence St, London

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/270628406979847/permalink/272175253491829/

Oakville

Time: 5 p.m. -  7:30 p.m.
Location: Galaxy Hall, 475 North Service Rd. East, Oakville

Join us as we light candles to remember the 14 young women who were killed in 1989 at Ecole Polytechnique and the murdered and missing Indigenous women.

Some of the guest speakers will include:

  • SAFE-Survivor Advocate For Empowerment
  • SAVIS- Human Trafficking

Doors open at 5 pm and a social will take place with light snacks and a cash bar.

RSVP: Rita Thompson- 905 635 3131 x 318 or email rthompson@uwhh.ca and Anne Smith- 905 635 3131 x 314 or email asmith@uwhh.ca

Orangeville

Time: 11:30 am -1:00 pm
Location: Family Transition Place, 20 Bredin Parkway, Orangeville

Please dress warmly as a portion of the ceremony will be outdoors in the parking lot.
Confirm your attendance at the Orangeville Vigil – https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07efshhng973d8e4c9&oseq=&c=&ch=

Download the event poster PDF iconorangeville_national-day-of-remembrance-2018

Oshawa

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location:  Unifor Local 222 Union Hall, 1425 Phillip Murray Avenue. Oshawa

On December 6, the Unifor Local 222 Women’s Committee are presenting their annual Candlelight Vigil to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

The event is at the Unifor Local 222 Union Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m., Vigil begins at 6:30 p.m.

Downlaod the event poster PDF iconoshawa_dec-6th-poster_0021.pdf

Ottawa

Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Women’s Monument at Minto Park (at Elgin and Gilmour)

On 6th December 1989, 14 young students at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal were murdered. They were murdered because they were women.

Each year, in Ottawa, we gather to hold a vigil commemorating the victims of the Montreal Massacre, as well as each life taken by violence against women and gender-based violence in our community since the previous year.

The Women’s Event Network of Ottawa seeks to raise awareness of the phenomenon of gender-based violence in our society, including the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and youth.

This is an opportunity to acknowledge the courage and strength of survivors, and to reflect on how we can eliminate violence against women and gender-based violence in all forms.

Port Elgin

Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Coulter Parkette, 599, 583 Green St, Saugeen Shores Port Elgin

Please join us to commemorate the 14 young women who were murdered at L'Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6.

Windsor

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Location: Hum Café and Lounge, 401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor

Join the Womxn's Centre on December 6th for the Annual rose ceremony/vigil for victims of the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique shooting. The vigil will take place at the Memorial of Hope located between Erie and Dillon Hall at 6:00 pm.

The evening will continue in The Hum Cafe and Lounge with a presentation by Professor Rebecca Major 6:30 pm.

Free refreshments will be available.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/302096240631125/