National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
Today, we remember the victims of the 1989 massacre at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
It was twenty-eight years ago on December 6, 1989, that fourteen women were murdered at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal by a man who shouted that he was fighting feminism. Many women just like them were in classrooms across the province today - as educators, staff, and students. It is difficult to think that such a horrific act could happen here, but many of our colleagues, students, and friends live with violence every day.
We remember these lives lost, and are committed to taking action to prevent tragedies like this in the future. One step we are taking is participating in Minister Melanie Mark's public engagement regarding Sexual Violence Policies at post-secondary institutions in BC, and we encourage faculty, staff, and students to participate as well. By making our institutions places where women are safe and sexual violence is not tolerated, we can contribute to making our province and country safe.
Acting to prevent violence, including sexual violence, includes a broader conversation about protecting human rights in BC. The provincial government also recently undertook public engagement to hear from organizations and individuals in BC on re-establishing the Human Rights Commission. We strongly believe that a Human Rights Commission can play a key role in exposing, and providing remedies for inequalities that remain in our society - you can read our submission here.
This day has been incorporated into the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism (November 25-Dec 10) that began with the International Day to End Violence Against Women and concludes with International Human Rights Day. Too many people live with fear in their lives, and we are committed to making our classrooms and communities safe for everyone.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.