It has been nearly 30 years since December 6, 1989, when an armed male student walked into an Engineering class at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal, forced the men to leave, murdered 14 women and injured 10 others stating he was “fighting feminism”. Then he shot himself.
These 14 people died because they were women and the effects of this massacre are still felt by women in Canada and around the world. And yet, women and girls in Canada still face violence in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities every single day.
We know that we cannot rely on our “Feminist” government to bring an end to violence against women as government service continue to suffer cuts.
Nationally, regionally and locally the women of the CEIU have been working tirelessly by:
- Forming mandated Women’s Committees across all regions of CEIU to advocate for Women in the workplace;
- Creating action plans at our women’s events including our National Women’s conference in November 2017, regional and national women’s committee meetings and trainings;
- Lobbying their MPs on various women’s priorities including the CLC #DoneWaiting Campaign;
- Supporting the Sister’s in Spirit vigils, led by Indigenous women who are raising awareness to the high rates of violence against Indigenous women in Canada;
- Having participated and planned International Women’s Day Marches, Rallies and events, The Take Back the Night Marches, The January Women’s Marches across Canada and the world;
- Planning and holding women’s training events in the regions across Canada;
- Continuing our work through our committees and conferences to provide education and awareness on violence against women, employment equity and diversity, equal pay, affordable child care etc.;
- Having a CEIU National Vice President for Women sit at the National table with the Employer where a discussion on workplace Harassment and Diversity and Employment Equity are standing agenda items;
In addition to the list above the National Women’s Committee is very excited to be participating in a Domestic Violence training created by the Canadian Labour Congress as a first step in a Women’s Advocate Program within CEIU to be held in Ottawa on December 8-9, 2018. In addition, in April 2019, for the first time in CEIU history we will be holding a joint meeting of the equity committees including the young workers. The purpose of this joint meeting is to discuss and receive training on intersectionality in the labour movement and building equity representation at CEIU.
We are very proud of the work we have done so far and look forward to the continued progress ahead to move the women’s agenda forward in all areas.
On November 25th, 2018, an international campaign was launched called The 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The campaign ends on International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2018. During these days the labour movement and women's groups across the country are holding events that contribute to the campaign to end gender-based violence.
The CEIU National Women’s Committee has created an awareness campaign to be shared on social media, your union boards etc. We are calling on you to take action and join in on our campaign by printing the attached PDF, writing a commitment on the poster and sharing it with the hashtag #CEIU16Days. Please share this campaign widely and encourage all members to participate. We would like to focus the social media posts on December 6th.
Our CEIU Women's Committee’s across Canada will be attending vigils in remembrance of ALL Women who have been impacted by gender-based violence. Please look for a vigil on December 6th and participate in your area. The labour movement should be in the forefront of fighting against gender-based harassment and violence. We encourage full participation in the movement when it come to this important work. Women are #DoneWaiting for violence against women to end and we will not stop until this is a thing of the past.
While this is a time for remembering the lives lost to violence, it is also a time to take action. The CEIU National Women’s Committee is challenging you to participate in our awareness campaign detailed above. Please share this campaign widely and encourage members to participate.
Click here #CEIU16Days.
December 6th; Women Won’t Forget!
CEIU National Vice President for Women, Western Region
CEIU National Vice President for Women, Eastern Region