December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence against Women, is commemorated every year in Canada, on the anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre, where 14 women were singled out because of their gender, and murdered. One of those women, Maryse Laganière, was a CUPE member who worked at the school.
While we have made some progress on women’s equality over the years, gender discrimination and violence against women is still a major human rights issue in Canada and across the world.
CUPE is joining with women’s groups and other labour organizations to call upon the federal government to take concrete action to end violence against women.
Federal government action must include:
1. A national action plan to end violence against women.
The United Nations has called upon governments across the world to develop national action plans to end violence against women by 2015. Canada needs to start now.
- Check out a new interactive map launched by Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet to spotlight national commitments to end violence against women
2. A national public inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
CUPE has long supported calls for a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. At our 2011 Convention, we resolved to continue this work. As of March 2010, the Native Women’s Association of Canada had documented 582 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. The federal government has since cut funding for this database and its failure to act on the issue has prompted an international response.
3. A public commitment to play a lead role at the 2013 meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) on strengthening women’s rights and holding governments accountable for them, including the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
CUPE will be participating in the UNCSW meeting in March 2013 along with other labour organizations, NGOs, and civil society groups. The priority theme of this session of the UNCSW is on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.