Toronto – November 23, 2020 – Right now, violence against women is the world's largest and most persistent human rights violation. Over 50 percent of Canadian women will experience an incident of violence at some point in their lives, and most will experience violence before they turn 25.
We all have a role to play in preventing and addressing gender-based violence, which is why the theme of this year’s “16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence” is #OurActionsMatter. Between November 25 and December 10, UFCW Canada members and allies are encouraged to join the conversation and reflect on the concrete steps that we as activists can take to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.
Below are some examples of the concrete actions that activists and labour unions, including UFCW Canada, are calling on the federal government to implement as part of this year’s 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence. With leadership, education, and action, we can end sexual harassment and violence in Canada. We can make workplaces safe for women and ensure that survivors are believed, and perpetrators are held accountable. Join us in calling on the government to:
- Introduce a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women: Fund and implement a robust, long-term plan that works across jurisdictions to address gender-based violence. This plan must support recommendations from the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
- Strengthen Public Awareness: Launch a national public education campaign on sexual harassment and violence.
- Fund Women’s Organizations: Provide sufficient and long-term core operational funding to women’s organizations in order to support survivors, carry out vital advocacy and research, and respond effectively to evolving crises like COVID-19.
- Make Workplaces Safe: Ratify and implement ILO Convention C-190 on violence and harassment in the world of work. Strengthen federal labour legislation so that it clearly defines sexual harassment and violence, reinforces employers’ obligations to ensure workplace safety, and ensures effective and impartial mechanisms are in place. Such mechanisms would include guidelines around the investigation of complaints, as well as provide support and protection for survivors, and how to hold perpetrators accountable.
You can also participate in the #16DaysOfActivism by:
- Following @UFCWCanada on Twitter and @ufcwcanada on Instagram;
- Retweeting @UFCWCanada’s tweets with the hashtag #16DaysOfActivism and/or #ActTogether;
- Following @Women Canada and regramming @women canada femmes.
For more information on gender-based violence, visit UFCW Canada’s Violence Against Women webpage. For more information on efforts to end sexual harassment in Canada, visit our union’s Sexual Harassment webpage.