November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, and December 10 – International Human Rights Day – is the final day. This 16 days of activism is recognized internationally.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was designated in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly. The date was chosen to commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic who were violently assassinated in 1960. The day pays tribute to them, as well as urging global recognition of gender violence. Each year on this day, governments, international organizations and NGOs are invited to organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem.
Gender-based violence affects us all. It destroys families, weakens the fabric of our society, and takes a heavy toll on our communities and our economy. Canadians are reminded during the 16 Days of Activism that they can take actions, now and throughout the year, to eliminate violence against women and girls in all its forms.
December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
To assist you in organizing an activity to mark this special day, Status of Women Canada (SWC) has developed the following poster:
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Violence against women and girls affects us all. It destroys lives and weakens the fabric of our society. As a population, it takes a heavy toll on our communities and our economy.
The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women defines violence against women as
"any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life."
The most common forms are:
1 Burczycka, Marta and Adam Cotter (2011). “Shelters for Abused Women, 2009.” Juristat, June 27, 2011. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
2 Brennan, Shannon (2011). "Violent Victimization of Aboriginal Women in the Canadian Provinces, 2009." Juristat, May 17, 2011. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
3 Mahony, Tina Hotton (2010). "Police-reported Dating Violence in Canada,2008." Juristat, Summer 2010. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
4 Perreault, Samuel and Shannon Brennan (2010). "Criminal Victimization in Canada, 2009." Juristat, Summer 2010. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
5 Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile (2011)