December 6 : Let’s End Gender-Based Violence!

December 4, 2023

On December 6, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, the labour movement wants to draw attention to the violence, harassment and precarious working conditions that workers experience every day.

“Gender-based violence remains a reality. Women, two-spirited, transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people experience this violence in their community and workplace,” says Tasha Salesse, New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL) Vice President Responsible for Women’s Issues. “We must demand legislation, policies and practices that protect workers, create inclusive and safe workplaces, and guarantee the right to equality, dignity and integrity.”

According to a national survey by the Canadian Labour Congress, 70% of workers have experienced some form of workplace violence in the past two years. This violence is most often committed by third parties such as customers, patients or students. Women and people from diverse sexual and gender backgrounds are most at risk. They are more likely to suffer because of discrimination and barriers such as lack of training, lack of support or fear of reprisals. Now that Canada has ratified ILO’s Convention No. 190 (C-190), it must ensure that gaps in existing legislation and regulations are filled, and demonstrate a commitment to urgent action in order to eradicate gender-based violence in the workplace.

“In New Brunswick, as elsewhere, jobs predominantly held by women and those at the crossroads of oppression are often marked by various forms of violence,” says Daniel Légère, NBFL President. “For example, changes to Policy 713 have had an impact on the working conditions of school staff as well as the learning conditions of 2SLGBTQIA+ students. Government, employers and unions must work together to eliminate violence.”

Every year, from November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10th (International Human Rights Day), people in Canada take part in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence organized by the United Nations. This initiative was started by activists at the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.

December 6, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, falls within those 16 days of activism. It commemorates the anti-feminist massacre at the École Polytechnique. On December 6, 1989, 14 young women were killed simply for being women. Every year since then, on December 6, we commemorate these 14 young women and all women, girls, two-spirited, transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people murdered or survivors of gendered violence in their homes, their communities, their workplaces and their unions.

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Events are happening to commemorate December 6 in New Brunswick:
Fredericton
December 6 at 3 p.m.
Auditorium 215, Kinesiology Building, UNB Fredericton

Moncton
December 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Caseley Park – 30 Honour House Court, Riverview

Saint Andrews
December 6 at 7 p.m.
Wesley United Church – 77 William Street Saint Andrews

Saint John
December 6 at 7 p.m.
Saint John High School – 170-200 Prince William Street Saint John

The New Brunswick Federation of Labour represents over 40,000 unionized workers and is the central voice of organized labour in the province.
For more information, please contact:
Tasha Salesse
Vice President Responsible for Women’s Issues
New Brunswick Federation of Labour
(506) 639-9851
Daniel Légère
President
New Brunswick Federation of Labour
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)

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