2018 marks the 29th anniversary of the December 6, 1989 Ecole Polythechnique massacre where 14 young women lost their lives simply because they were women. Each year, on December 6, we take a moment to mourn these 14 young women and all women and girls who were killed 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. For decades, unions have been negotiating collective agreement language on sexual harassment, and raising awareness of all forms of gender based violence at work. For example, the New Brunswick government updated the Employment Standards Act to make a paid leave available for victims of intimate partner and sexual violence and violence is now recognized as a workplace hazard.
The New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL) supports the call to provincial government action, brought forward by five feminist organizations. The YWCA, New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity, the Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick, the South Central Transition House and Second Stage Coalition and the Saint John Women’s Empowerment Network are calling for better policies and increased investment in child care, prevention programs to end relationship abuse and violence, safe and affordable housing and pay equity in the private sector.
“Economic security and having access to quality and affordable housing and child care services will positively assist women who are fleeing family violence,” says Shanny Doucet, New Brunswick Federation of Labour Vice-President responsible for Women’s Issues. “Decision makers need to understand the complex and interconnected factors that lead to abuse and its impact on women and children before putting in place policies that will affect them.”
The NBFL encourages everyone to attend the December 6th activities organized in your region and support the numerous campaigns of our partners to end violence against women and girls.
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The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is New Brunswick’s largest central labour body representing 35,000 members of both public sector and private sector labour unions.
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)
NBFL VP responsible for Women’s Issues
(506) 227-9900 (cell)