November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – and the start of the Global 16 Days Campaign, also known as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals experience violence every day due to their gender, gender expression, or perceived gender. Members of Indigenous, rural or 2SLGBTQIA+ communities face heightened risks of gender-based violence – and it’s everyone’s responsibility to combat it.
This year’s focus, “Listen. Learn. Act.,” urges us to support survivors, educate ourselves, and take meaningful action against gender-based violence. We recognize that our role as a union extends beyond our organizational boundaries; it’s about fostering a cultural shift, a collective consciousness that denounces violence in all its forms.
From November 25 to December 10, I urge every member to reflect on the impact of gender-based violence. Let us pledge to LISTEN intently to survivors’ voices, LEARN continually about the root causes, and ACT decisively in our daily lives to challenge and eliminate this systemic issue – here are some suggestions to get started:
- Learn about gender-based violence
- Find out about 16 ways you can help end gender-based violence
- Watch a movie, video or documentary related to gender-based violence such as those available on the National Film Board website (various languages; viewer discretion is advised for some films).
- Take the aftermetoo training addressing sexual harassment and violence – it’s only 30 minutes and features ACTRA members.
- Attend an event in your community to show your support to victims of gender-based violence. Consider donating to a local shelter if you can.
- On the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, honour the victims of the Polytechnique Montréal tragedy with us by wearing a white ribbon.
- On December 10, Human Rights Day, read the full text or simplified version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or check out the illustrated booklet of the Declaration.
- Keep an eye on our social media for more resources!
Let’s all play our part and stand with those affected by the scourge of gender-based violence.