CFUW marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by calling for action to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence
Ottawa, 25 November 2021 – Today marks the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence that begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on December 10, the International Human Rights Day. The 16 Days campaign has been used as an organizing strategy around the world since 1991 to call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence. A number of significant dates are highlighted throughout the 16 days including the December 6 anniversary of the Montreal Massacre – where fourteen women were murdered at the École Polytechnique in 1989 simply for being women.
Violence against women (VAW) and gender-based violence (GBV) are widespread human rights violations that occur in all parts of the world. Violence against women is pervasive in Canadian society and presents a significant barrier to gender equality. This form of violence includes a broad spectrum of acts such as verbal, psychological, and physical harassment and coercion, domestic abuse, sexual assault and harassment, child marriage, torture, and/or femicide.
According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 67% of Canadians know at least one woman who has experienced a form of gender-based violence. In Canada, gender-based violence disproportionately impacts women, girls, Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQI2S+ and non-binary individuals, racialized women, people living in northern, rural, and remote communities, people with disabilities, newcomers, youth, and seniors. This violence results from the deeply engrained gender inequalities and discrimination that shapes our laws, governance structures and collective and individual attitudes.
In light of the thousands Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada, the culture of sexual violence on Canadian campuses, systemic sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces, and increasing levels of gun violence threatening the safety of women and girls in Canada, CFUW (Canadian Federation of University Women) calls for concerted actions at all levels of government to tackle these multifaceted issues.
In April 2021, the Government of Canada announced historic investments to develop a National Action Plan on Violence against Women and Gender-Based Violence and Secretariat to implement the National Action Plan. Now, we need a whole-of-government approach to develop and implement the strategic timelines and policies necessary for the National Action Plan to be successful. The 100 policy recommendations from civil society organizations outlined by the Report to Guide the Implementation of a National Action Plan on Violence against Women and Gender-Based Violence provide a ready roadmap for the federal government to begin implementing community-based anti-violence strategies. In order to combat systemic problems, we need systemic solutions – policies that support survivors and their families, promote responsive legal and justice systems, bolster prevention strategies, and cultivate our economic and social infrastructure policies to eliminate barriers to equality and justice are all part of the solution.
During the 16 Days of Activism campaign and beyond, our actions matter. Taking concrete action, however small or large, creates a ripple effect that can lead to the elimination of violence against women and girls in communities around the world. Here are some of the many actions you can take to raise awareness and generate action to end gender-based violence:
- Spread the word about the 16 Days of Activism campaign: share these informative posts on social media using the hashtags #16Days #OurActionsMatter #EndVAW
- Speak up when you hear inappropriate or degrading jokes and language
- Write a letter to your MP on the urgent need to implement the National Action Plan on Violence against Women & Gender-based Violence
- Hang posters in your community with facts about violence against women and the number of your local helpline
- Light a candle at 5:10PM on December 6 to commemorate the 14 victims of the Montreal Massacre. Say the victims’ names. Share your vigil on social media.
CFUW (Canadian Federation of University Women), a self-funded, non-partisan organization founded in 1919 that works to improve the status of women by promoting human rights, public education, social justice, and peace in Canada and abroad. With nearly 7,000 members in 96 Clubs across Canada, every year, CFUW Clubs and the CFUW Charitable Trust donate well over $1 million in fellowships and awards for women to pursue post-secondary education. CFUW holds special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and regularly sends a delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women.
For more information please contact:
National Advocacy Coordinator
Canadian Federation of University Women
331 Cooper Street, Suite 502
Sexual Violence on Campus – Dec. 9
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Toolkit & Resources
The 16 Days of Activism (November 25th to December 10th) is an international campaign to generate actions that will put an end to violence against women and girls. From November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10th, International Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign can help put an end to violence against women and girls. CFUW clubs and members can be trailblazers in their communities and across the country, contributing positively to end gender-based violence (GBV).
Congratulations to new Cabinet Ministers!
CFUW is thrilled to continue working with the federal government on our shared priorities of gender equality! Our organization looks forward to the release of each Ministry’s mandate letters. Check out CFUW National President, Kathryn Wilkinson’s welcome letters to:
- Minister of Women, Gender Equality and Youth, The Honourable Marci Ien
- Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, The Honourable Karina Gould
You can find the full list of appointments here: https://pm.gc.ca/en/cabinet
Free Workshop Series: Raising Awareness and Empowering Women through Pay Equity
CFUW is offering a series of free pay equity virtual workshops targeted at students and college/university personnel. The series, “Raising Awareness and Empowering Women through Pay Equity” will run from October 2021 – March 2022 and seeks to provide diverse women with the tools to advocate for pay equity and engage in salary negotiation in order to address the gender wage gap.
The three-series workshops include:
- Pay Equity ‘hands-on’ Salary Negotiation: This workshop is geared toward graduating college and university students and offers practical tools to help young women identify their transferable skills, bolster their resumes and learn evidence-based negotiation strategies.
- ‘Train the Trainers’: Participants are trained as facilitators to effectively deliver the Pay Equity Salary Negotiation Workshop for future utilization.
- Pay Equity Advocacy Campaign: This workshop focuses on how to raise public awareness about the pay gaps in Canada, how to mount a campaign, and how participants can become pay equity leaders in their community.
Each workshop is approximately 3-hours in length and will be conducted over Zoom. There is no cost to participate in the workshops, as CFUW has received a grant from Employment and Social Development Canada. All workshop materials are available in English and French.
To register, participants are invited to click here.
If you have any questions, please direct your inquires to [email protected].
CFUW eager to continue working with Federal Government on achieving gender equality, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – September 25, 2021. Click here to view the full press release.
The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) congratulates Prime Minister Justine Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada for their third consecutive election victory, resulting in a Liberal minority government. CFUW is eager to continue working with the federal government on our shared goals of achieving gender equality in Canada and abroad.
Although the proportion of seats in the House of Commons remains largely the same as it was before the election, the circumstances of our country have changed drastically since the last time Canadians went to the polls.
The emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic devastated our country’s health care system, long-term care homes, and economy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a “code red for humanity” report amid record-breaking heat waves, floods, and wildfires in Canada. These converging emergencies deepened inequalities in this country, where women – particularly those who are racialized, low-income, live with disabilities, or are newcomers or refugees, were disproportionately impacted.
As Canada “builds back better,” a feminist, socioeconomic recovery plan that addresses systemic inequalities and the disparate impacts of crises on women’s lives must be at the core of our government’s priorities. CFUW looks forward to working with this federal government to strengthen and enact policies that will bring about transformative change in the areas of: early learning and child care, gender-based violence, the climate emergency, long-term care, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, among other intersecting areas related to gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
CFUW Clubs worked with other community groups to host all-candidates meetings and debates over the 36-day campaign to promote civic engagement and political discourse in their areas. CFUW thanks all candidates and parties for their participation in furthering democracy and gender equality in Canada.
For more information, contact Charlotte Akin, CFUW National Advocacy Coordinator at [email protected]