Delegates at the Ontario Federation of Labour’s Power of Many convention took time today to recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of the 16 global days of action to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence.
Many wore purple to mark the days of action, which include on December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This December 6 marks 30 years since the day fourteen women were murdered at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique.
“Fourteen women were singled out and murdered because of their gender,” said Patty Coates, OFL Secretary-Treasurer, noting that one of the victims was an employee who was a CUPE member. “It is a day that will forever be etched in our collective memory.”
Coates also noted that many are not only affected by gender-based violence, but also by sexism, racism, and other intersecting oppressions. More than half of women in Canada will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
“There remains much work to do, and we won’t stop until the violence stops,” said Coates, before the hall rose for two minutes of silence. Delegates held up lit phones in the solemn ceremony.