Tag Archives: public safety

Violence Against Women Concerns Us All

28 years ago, Canada was shaken by the violent mass murder of 14 young women at École Polytechnique, generating awareness on the ongoing social issue of gender-based violence and misogyny.

Today, we commemorate and honour the lives of everyone who has died from gender-based violence and the intersection of systemic discrimination such as homophobia, poverty, and racism, including discrimination against Indigenous Peoples. This day is also about asking why acts of violence against women are still happening in 2017.

Violence against women continues to be a major tragedy. There has been no significant reduction of the problem, as rates of sexual assaults continue to remain high. Both police-reported and self-reported data indicate that women represent the majority of victims of specific forms of violence such as sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence, including intimate partner homicide.

#METOO, the recent social media trend, saw many courageous women sharing their stories, shedding light on a widespread culture that promotes acts of violence against women, in particular, sexual harassment and assault. The prevalence of toxic attitudes and violent acts against women is deeply disturbing but not surprising. It calls for a long overdue reflection on the social and institutional structures that promote these acts, as well as on our own actions.

Too many continue to sanction sexist beliefs and attitudes that dehumanize women and paint them as weak and inferior. These beliefs impact women’s rights and the level of respect they are shown. Society’s view of women has normalized the behaviours and attitudes that promote gender-based violence. Behaviours can take the form of jokes about sexual harassment or rape, meeting the act of catcalling a woman on the street with laughter, or the reaction of insistence and a predatory attitude when a woman says “NO”.

Consider a joke about harassment or consent. Even when a person insists they meant nothing by it, it still promotes a culture of violence and discrimination that has serious and real impact on women. The problem is that joking about consent has become so commonplace, it reinforces the perception that disregarding consent is somehow socially acceptable.

Being aware of the collective impact of these attitudes, and discussing ways to address the situation, not only among women, but among all of us, is an honest first step toward transforming our surroundings and confronting the issue. There is no such thing as an innocent bystander. Acts of gender-based violence concern us all and must be challenged, especially by those who think they have the privilege to ignore them.

To create change, it is essential to recognize that the issue of violence against women knows no frontiers. It happens every day, in our country, in our city, and in our neighbourhood.

Because violence against women concerns everyone, let’s raise awareness and step up to reinforce acts of respect to everyone, but particularly to women and girls!

Article prepared by The Canadian Federation of University Women

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Support Wendy Cukier from the Coalition for Gun Control

Support the Globe and Mail’s nomination of Wendy Cukier, President of the Coalition for Gun Control to the Transformational Canadians Panel.

Dr. Wendy Cukier, associate dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management and founder of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University is also the president and co-founder of the Coalition for Gun Control. She has been nominated by the Globe and Mail’s Transformational Canadians Panel  for her work over the past 20 years in helping shape gun control in Canada, a triumph for public health and safety. By reducing gun death, injury and crime through the Coalition for Gun Control, Dr. Cukier has been instrumental in raising Canada’s international standing thanks to progressive gun control measures.

Within a few hours of her nomination by the Transformational Canadian Panel, the gun lobby has already organized a letter/comment writing campaign to the Globe and Mail in an attempt to discredit her nomination and challenge her accomplishments.

Help support her nomination (and mobilize others to do so) by posting positive comments here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/25/the-nominees/wendy-cukier-gun-control-activist/article1743945/

The Registry Lives to Fight Another Day

CFUW was present at last night’s historic vote. After months of hard work, the registry was saved… for now.  This victory, while we can savor it for the time being, is bitter sweet.  After the vote the Prime Minister vowed to continue the campaign to end the long gun registry.  This means that while we have won the battle, the war is far from over.

The contempt shown for a tool that has helped save hundreds of women’s lives cannot be tolerated. We need to work harder than ever to protect the registry and gun control in this country; we must speak out for those who are silenced by fear, intimidation and firearms.

Our Prime Minister’s promise to get rid of the gun registry underlines his lack of respect for our democratic processes. CFUW, as an organization with a founding purpose to increase the status and safety of women, cannot sit on the sidelines. We will work with our partners in civil society, in the labour movement, the Ad Hoc Coalition and with groups across the country to ensure these issues do not fade.

Thank you to CFUW members across the country for your hard work and commitment to making Canada a more equal society.  You can feel proud in knowing that we stood up to a divisive, bullying government and won. Keep fighting; the issues are too important to lose.

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For more information please contact:

Sam Spady, cfuwadvocacy@rogers.com

Call to (Register) Arms!

The effort to save the gun registry continues.

The CFUW is launching a new campaign, “Call to (Register) Arms”. Members are encouraged to call their MP and continue to highlight how important the gun registry is to public safety!

To find how your MP voted on Bill C-391 click here.

Is your MP one of the opposition members to vote for this bill? Click here to find phone numbers, scripts and talking points to make your call easier!