CUPE BC representatives joined others in labour and the community at a breakfast this morning to mark the National Day of Remembrance Action on Violence against Women.
Breakfast participants also heard from NDP women’s issues critic MLA Kathy Corrigan on failure of provincial government to support essential women’s services throughout the province. Corrigan highlighted the dismal state of support for women’s services, in particular, those that support women dealing with violence.
Representatives from the South Fraser Women’s Services Society gave a clear picture of the struggle to offer services for women at the community level. The organization is about to lose their legal educator – one of three staff positions – at the due to lack of funding.
CUPE BC Women’s Committee chair Deb Taylor says that every day of the week, CUPE members and activists work on the front line to prevent violence against women.
This year, CUPE BC supported the development of a series of bookmarks for Northern Women’s Centre in Prince George. The set of bookmarks offers information and local resources in a number of areas including: harassment, date rape, discrimination and stalking.
Taylor says that the latest project for the committee is to support student campus food banks on Vancouver Island.
The December 6 breakfast and other events mark the anniversary of the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique shootings, in which fourteen women were singled out for their gender and murdered. One of the women was a CUPE member.
The statistics on violence against women are startling. According to the Canadian Labour Congress every minute of every day a Canadian woman or child is being sexually assaulted, and each week one to two women are murdered by a current or former partner. Homicide is the number one killer of women in the workplace.
Aboriginal women face even higher rates of violence. More than 582 Aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past few decades.
Those wanting to take action to support an end to violence against women can check out http://www.wecanbc.ca/ - which offers resources, links and information.