Today marks the 32nd annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the Green Party is calling on the Harper Conservatives to act more decisively to help end this daily threat to the safety and well-being of women and girls, both in our own country and around the world.
“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?”
May conveyed her support for the YWCA’s national Rose Campaign at their Ottawa press conference this morning. 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.
Violence against women is an extremely serious problem affecting every community in Canada, but its prevalence is perhaps most overlooked within our country’s most vulnerable populations.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has documented nearly 600 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, and suspects there are many more that remain unknown. Native women account for a disproportionate number of missing and murdered Canadians, and NWAC has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the need of a national action plan to address this issue.
The Harper administration continues to ignore the call from the UN Human Rights Council for a national inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered Aboriginal women, despite the unanimous support for an investigation from provincial and territorial premiers.