The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) remembers the 14 lives lost twenty one years ago today. We mark December 6th each year to remember the young women who were gunned down through senseless violence. We also mark December 6th as a call to action to end violence against women. Canada must not isolate the actions of one deranged individual – it needs to take action on all the factors present in our society that keep women from enjoying the safety and equality of men.
We still live in a country where persistent wage gaps tell women their work is not of equal value to men, where women continue to do two thirds of unpaid work and bear the brunt of poverty. Twenty one years later we are still fighting for our concerns to be taken seriously. As the Government defunds women’s groups who demand women’s equality, December 6 acts as a reminder to revive our commitment to gender equality.
In 2010, women experience domestic abuse, sexual assault on university campuses and the murder and disappearance of more than 600 aboriginal women. To break cycles of poverty and abuse that limit women’s lives, CFUW calls for action to end violence and inequality. Affordable housing, universal childcare, accessible post-secondary education and greater economic equality break down barriers to women’s equality. This December 6th we remember the lives of the 14 young women who were senselessly murdered at Ecole Polytechnique because they were women. This December 6th we go forward to fight against the inequality and ideas that created the violence twenty one years ago – and the violence that continues to take place against women every day.