On the eve of the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Green Party calls on the Harper Conservatives to act more decisively to help end this daily threat to the safety and well-being of women and girls.
“Few people realize that violence against women is the world’s leading human-rights violation and, sadly, Canada isn’t immune to this tragedy,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands. “More than half of Canadian women and girls are victims of violence at some point in their lives. How can we as a civilized society accept this?”
Younger women experience the highest rates of violence generally, and the rate of violence by their current and past partners is on the rise. The scandalous number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women reveals a gender-based anger and racism that Canada must deal with immediately. The Green Party endorses the Native Women’s Association petition campaign calling for a federal inquiry into this “epidemic of violence.”
Along with the broken or lost lives, violence against women costs more than $4 billion annually, including medical and court costs, social services, and lost productivity.
May conveyed her support for the YWCA’s national Rose Campaign and their Ottawa press conference on Monday, November 26. The Rose Campaign was established 22 years ago to commemorate the shooting deaths of 14 young women at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6 – now Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
“After the deliberate murder of these young students, many Canadians rallied to bring guns under greater federal control to prevent such crimes in the future,” said May. “Sadly, two decades later, the Harper Conservatives have eliminated the long-gun registry and voted against international gun control. In other words, they are making women’s lives more perilous.”
Since 1981, November 25 has served to raise awareness of this social catastrophe, as it marks the 1960 assassination, ordered by dictator Rafael Trujillo, of the activist Mirabal sisters in the Dominican Republic.