December 6: A day to remember and to recommit to ending gender-based violence

More than 30 years ago (December 6, 1989), 14 young women at Polytechnique Montréal were murdered – simply because they were women. Still in 2021, approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner, and many more women and gender diverse people face violence regularly.


Some disturbing statistics about gender-based violence:

  • More than 4 in 10 women have experienced some form of gender-based violence since the age of 15
  • 30% of women have been sexually assaulted since the age of 15 (compared to 8% of men)
  • Indigenous women were more likely than non-Indigenous people to report experiencing violence since the age of 15 (55% versus 38%, respectively)
  • One in three (32%) women have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour in public. This is more prevalent for bisexual women (76%), women 15 to 24 years of age (61%), lesbian women (51%), First Nations or Metis women (40%), and women living with a disability (39%).
  • Domestic violence can carry over into the workplace. More than half (53%) of study respondents who experienced domestic violence said that at least one type of abusive act happened at or near their workplace, almost 40% said it made it difficult for them to get to work, and 8.5% said that they lost their jobs because of it.

Take Action

Gender-based violence impacts everyone and we all have a role to play by taking meaningful action to ensure that the ongoing violence, and tragedies like l'École Polytechnique de Montréal, never happen again.

  • The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women falls within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25 and December 10). Now, more than ever we call on you to participate in our #CEIU16Days of activism.

  • Ratify the global treaty on violence. It’s time for Canada to ratify international labour convention C190, the first-ever global treaty on violence and harassment in the world of work. The federal government has told Canadians they will get this done. Write to the Labour Minister now and let him know we are done waiting.

On December 6, we remember:

Geneviève Bergeron

Hélène Colgan

Nathalie Croteau

Barbara Daigneault

Anne-Marie Edward

Maud Haviernick

Maryse Laganière

Maryse Leclair

Anne-Marie Lemay

Sonia Pelletier

Michèle Richard

Annie St-Arneault

Annie Turcotte

Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz


In solidarity,

Lynda MacLellan

CEIU NVP for Women, Western Region


Jodi MacPherson

CEIU NVP for Women, Eastern Region