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December 6th – Day of Rememberance
December 6, 2013 @ 12:15 pm - 2:00 pm
National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women
St. George Campus:
Join us for a memorial at 12:15 p.m. at the December 6th Commemorative Benches behind the GSU, in front of Hart House in Hart House Circle. The ceremony includes speakers and an opportunity to dedicate your own rose in remembrance.
Lunch will follow at 12:45 to 2:00 in the East Common Room in Hart House.
ASL Interpretation provided. For accessibility requests contact: email@example.com
For U of T December 6th buttons and posters contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About December 6th
December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.
As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
Organized by: Assault Counselling & Education, Health & Wellness; Campus Chaplain’s Office; Community Safety Office; Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education; First Nations House; Graduate Students Union; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work; Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering; Multi-Faith Centre; Sexual & Gender Diversity Office; Status of Women Office; Students Ending Rape and Sexual Abuse; University of Toronto Students’ Union
Status of Women Canada
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
By Ramona Alaggia
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
In approaching December 6 as that tragic day 24 years ago when 14 women were gunned down and murdered simply for being women, with numerous others injured in the Montreal Massacre, I am tempted to be swept away by sentiments that we as a society have been transformed and are “moving on”. And while that might seem to be a comforting sentiment to cling to it is clear to me that there is much more work to be done through the violence against women’s movement as part of the larger women’s liberation movement, in memory of those women who have lost their lives to violence. Any social movement as significant as this needs a full one hundred years to mature and given this context we are not even half way through such monumental social change. Today as I write this I observe an unfortunate continuing stance of hyper-vigilance adopted by women in their everyday lives that stems from on-going societal, cultural and structural violence. Having to use panic buttons for protection at night on campuses across the country; covering one’s drink to protect against rape drugs; women enduring assassination attempts for seeking an education; how the simple act of taking a bus can become a site of sexual violence; not to mention the numbers of missing Aboriginal women unaccounted for across our country. These are but a few examples of why our work as feminists is not nearly done.
This hyper-vigilance is further fueled by social media abuses. Cyber stalking of women is on the increase and the internet is used as a tool of sexual harassment. “Slut shaming” and “rape culture” are unfortunate realities. One only needs to google slut and rape jokes to bring forward a proliferation of web-sites that spew forth the language of violence against women. Yet at the same time we have unyielding evidence of acts of resistance with the emergence of Slut Walks across the globe, men working as allies through the White Ribbon Campaign to end men’s violence against women, Take Back the Night still marches on, and as well we have the Green Dot campaign on our own campus. These are important acts of solidarity aimed at ending violence against women and one day, as the movement has reached its goals, these will be only reminders of a darker time long gone.