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  • Kyle Buott
  • President of the Halifax- Dartmouth & District Labour Council, a union member and an activist for Health, Democracy and worker rights.
All posts not Categorized as Labour Council Official are the opinions and arguments of their respective authors.

December 6th – Day to End Violence Against Women

December 6th – Day to End Violence Against Women
By Joyclin Coates, Vice President of Women’s rights, Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council


Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student

Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student

Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student

Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student

Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department

Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student

Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student

Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student

Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student

Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student

Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

24 years ago on  December  6, 2014   these  young women  were  gunned  down  by a lone assailant.   And on  December  6 of each year  since  1991   this day has been observed  as the   National  Day of  Remembrance and Action on Violence against  Women.   The reasons  are well documented  about  the motivation for the killings,  —  because  they were  women,   and they were  involved in  education in fields of study which have long been a  stronghold   for  careers   for men.

Around the world  the  fight  for  girls and women to  get  an  education which would help to  lift them out of dependence and poverty continues. .  This was   never so  prominent , this past year  as   when  a  16 year old  school girl,  Malala Yousafzai  ,  was shot  by  the Taliban  in Pakistan.   Her subsequent  survival and  “coming out swinging”   attitude  of  defiance ,  and  a symbol  of hope,  almost  won her  a Nobel  Peace  Prize.

Freedom  to  be educated,  freedom  from abuse,  and  all  manner of violence;  sexual and  other physical  and psychological   attacks,  continues   to be  an elusive goal  and impossible for many women.

Our current government  sought  to  remove the  Long Gun Registry  which was implemented  to  reduce risk  of  death  and  injury  to many,  including  women in abusive  domestic situations.   Their  goal to  in  removing this   Registry, in  February of 2012    was   celebrated ,  even  in the face of   resistance  from  most law enforcement agencies.    Insult  to injury was  when the  Government attacked  the RCMP for confiscating  for   having confiscated  542 firearms and ammunition while on search and rescue for people in  the High River flood zone in  June 2013.     They were  totally  losing sight of  the safety issue of  insure storage of  firearms.

In the face of  regressive  “creep”   of   this  patriarchal  mentality, lets  continue  to stand up and  speak out and take action against   the  Violence against  women  here in our  own back yard, as  demonstrated by the   outcry  of   the  “Frosh week Chants”    at  SMU and other  Universities ,  about  rape  and   consent  and  fight back  against this mentality  , wherever we encounter it.

It is like walking on the sand at the edge of the ocean,  as another wave  comes in to undermine your step but with vigilance and tenacity you keep reaffirming  your position on solid ground.

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