Statement by Minister Ien on National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women 7 December

Women and Gender Equality Canada

Ottawa – The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, issued the following statement today on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:

“It was 33 years ago today that a horrific act of violence shocked and devastated our country. On December 6, 1989, 14 women were murdered and others wounded when a gunman targeted women at the École Polytechnique de Montréal – targeting them simply for being women.

We speak their names in remembrance: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

The sad reality is that there are many other people who have been killed because of their gender, gender identity, or perceived gender in Canada whose names we don’t know. The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability reported that 173 women and girls were killed violently in 2021, amounting to one woman every two days. Women also represent the majority of victims of intimate partner homicides in Canada, accounting for 80% of people killed by an intimate partner.

We owe it to our women and girls to do better.

Gender-based violence must not be tolerated in Canada. These acts are part of a continuum of hate that needs to be disrupted. From calling out hateful language to refusing to ignore signs of intimate partner violence, we can all work together to create a safer Canada for everyone.

We owe it to every life taken too soon to stand up against gender-based violence in all its forms. On this day, I encourage you to think about how you can use your voice to challenge the hateful and dangerous attitudes and beliefs that contribute to gender-based violence, and to take the time to listen and learn from survivors.

Together, we can act against gender-based violence and create a more equal future for all.”

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