On December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, the New Brunswick Federation of Labour joins its voice to Canada’s Unions in calling on the Government of Canada to establish a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and Gender-Based Violence.
Although intimate partner violence was already the worldwide leading cause of non-fatal injuries to women, things have gotten worse during the Covid-19 pandemic. The side effects of dealing with the pandemic, namely working from home, forced confinement and job loss have been particularly hard for people living with their abuser.
“The pandemic has disproportionately affected women and put them at increased risk of intimate partner violence. There needs to be concerted government action to ensure that women and their children have access to the necessary supports to live violence free: access to affordable childcare and housing along with pay equity,” says Heather Fraser, New Brunswick Federation of Labour Vice-President responsible for Women’s Issues. “That is why we are calling for a national plan that sets clear targets for eliminating gender-based violence once and for all. The plan must be intersectional and long term, deal with workplace violence and harassment. It should also set a streamlined process across all levels of government to help gain access to services and protection.”
Every year, from November 25, (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10 (the World Human Rights Day), Canadians participate in the United Nations’ 16 days of activism against gender-based violence which was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.
December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, falls within those 16 days of activism. It commemorates the École Polytechnique Massacre. On December 6, 1989, fourteen young women lost their lives simply because they were women. Since then, we take a moment on December 6 to mourn these 14 young women and all women and girls who were murdered or experienced various forms of violence in their homes, their communities, and workplaces. We also take this time to renew our commitment to work for change and to build a society based on respect, equality and peace.
“We can be proud of the work the labour movement has already done and will continue to do to end all forms of gender-based violence. For decades, unions have been negotiating collective agreement language on sexual harassment and raising awareness of all forms of gender-based violence at work,” says Daniel Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour.
The New Brunswick Federation of Labour represents over 38,000 unionized workers and is the central voice of organized labour in the province.
For information, please contact:
Vice-President responsible for Women’s Issues,
New Brunswick Federation of Labour
(506) 381-4285 (cell)
President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)