Inequality a root cause of negative anti-women attitudes that lead to violence – AFL

Inequality a root cause of negative anti-women attitudes that lead to violence

On 26th Anniversary of Montreal massacre AFL reaffirms commitment to ending violence against women

Edmonton – December 6 is a chance to mourn the Montreal Massacre, but also a call to action.

On Sunday, December 6, the Alberta Federation of Labour hosted at a brunch in commemoration of the 14 young women who were murdered on December 6, 1989 because of their gender at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.

“Every year on December 6, we get together to remember and to rededicate ourselves to preventing violence against women,” Alberta Federation of Labour Secretary Treasurer Siobhán Vipond said. “Twenty-six years ago, 14 women were targeted for killing for no reason other than their gender. This violence was not just the product of one man’s rage, it was the product of a society that undermines the value of women. We will need a cultural shift towards equality if we are ever going to combat violence against women.”

“Inequality still exists. Sometimes we like to think that women’s equality has been achieved, but that assumption is belied by the facts. In Canada, every six days, a women is killed by her partner. Since August, in Edmonton alone there were four alleged or confirmed domestic homicides.” Vipond said. “We may have elected a woman as premier, but Alberta has the highest rate of domestic violence. We may have a minister responsible for the status of women, but we have the biggest gender-based wage gap.”

Vipond noted that having more women in the provincial and federal legislature is a much-needed step in the right direction and has tangible benefits. She noted that Bill 204, which will make it easier for victims to escape domestic abuse, would likely not have been brought forward if it were not for strong female representation.

“Someone without lived experience might not know why an inability to break a lease would be a big deal for someone trying to escape domestic violence,” Vipond said. “Violence against women is a manifestation of inequality between women and men. And having greater equality amongst the people in power in our province and our country could have a profound impact. But it’s only part of the solution. Most of the work has to happen on a cultural level.”

Where: Old Timers Cabin (9430 Scona Rd. NW Edmonton)

When: 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Who: Speakers include Patricia Garrett, WINGS Executive Director and Spoken Word Artist Shima Robinson

More details:

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Olav Rokne, Communications Director, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780.218.4351 (cell)
or via e-mail