Remembering Montreal and indigenous women

Montreal Massacre 20161206

Polytechnique presents scholarship in honour of Montreal massacre victims

MHWSS executive director Natasha Carvalho said the event not only commemorates those who lost their lives due to gender-based violence, but it served as an opportunity to discuss violence that women continue to face.

Violence against women and girls is not just a women's issue.

In honour of those women, December 6th is National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. A victim, her mother says, of someone with a violent past who targeted women. "It was an attack on feminism fuelled by misogyny that persists today".

Mercifully, there were no new local names to add to the list of victims this year, said Andy Lou Somers, with East Prince Women's Information Centre and one of the memorial's organizers.

"I have received death threats over my effort to provide free period products to students on campus", says Hilary Jahelka, the vice-president of student life with the U of C's Students' Union, by way of one example.

Violence against women - particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence - is a major public health problem and a violation of women's human rights.

In commemoration of the women who were killed on December 8, 1989 at École Polytechnique, the mayor of Montreal is inviting all Montrealers to the city's annual memorial.

"We are not truly thriving if members of our community are allowed to suffer from pervasive abuse and discrimination", says Bertsch, the U of C's sexual violence support advocate.

Trudeau said more must be done to speak out against gender-based violence against women and girls both in Canada and overseas.

"It's a very fitting connection", Keefer said.

"Our humanity and liberation is tied together".

The worldwide campaign, wrapping up December 10th, began in New Jersey and unites individuals, organizations, activists and government leaders to take a stand against gender-based violence.

"It's with the presence of those women and all the women who were in engineering before us that we're able to study", she said after the ceremony. Acts of gender-based violence concern us all and must be challenged, especially by those who think they have the privilege to ignore them.

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