The following is a statement from Laird Cronk and Sussanne Skidmore, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour regarding December 6th National Day of Remembrance and Action Against Violence Against Women:
December 6th is a day where we take stock of society’s progress on eradicating gender-based violence. But we continue to be inundated by stories of women coming forward about violence in their homes, workplaces and communities. The message this year that we are all hearing is that we are not there yet.
For well over a year now, survivors have been sharing their stories of personal violence at work, at home, in their communities, and on social media. These reports have created a worldwide outcry for real change.
The UN’s theme this year for the sixteen days of activism to end violence against women is Orange the World: #HearMeToo, and was formed in recognition of the various social media movements exposing millions upon millions of personal experiences of women and girls all over the world. Orange was chosen as the colour for this global campaign as it encourages a look to a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.
The work of the BCFED Women’s Rights and Occupational Health and Safety committees has been largely focused on gender-based violence this year. This past spring, the BCFED lobbied the provincial government around how to make life at home and at work safer for women in communities across our province.
The work of the BCFED and many other organizations is having a positive effect. The provincial government has moved to restore some funding gutted from women’s shelters and support programs by the BC Liberals, and has enacted leave provisions in the Employment Standards Act for people fleeing violence at home.
As we remember the massacre 29 years ago of fourteen women at L'École Polytechnique in Montreal, we resolve to honour their memory and the memory of all others who have been stolen from us due to gender-based violence and keep fighting for an end to violence against women and girls in our homes, our workplaces and everywhere.