"The consequence of doing nothing is to allow more women's lives to be lost, more families to suffer and more injustices to occur." — James Clancy, NUPGE National President.
Ottawa (11 Feb. 2015) — What started in 1991 on February 14, as a day of remembrance and solidarity following the death of a Coast Salish woman in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, has grown into a country-wide movement to mourn the loss of women everywhere and remember the women who are still missing.
Aboriginal women face disproportionate violence in Canada
Communities are using this day to bring more awareness to the severe violence, poverty and racism affecting Indigeous women. The Native Women's Association of Canada reports that there are at least 1200 missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. Statistics from various sources consistently demonstrate there is a disproportionate amount of violence directed at Aboriginal women in Canada.
Here are a few examples:
- In 2009, a survey of the 10 provinces by Statistics Canada found that Aboriginal women were nearly three times more likely than non-Aboriginal women to report being a victim of a violent crime, either by a stranger or a spouse.
- The survey showed that 13 per cent of all Aboriginal women aged 15 and older living in the provinces stated that they had been violently victimized.
- It also found that not only do Aboriginal women face more frequent incidence of violence, the violence is also much more severe.
- A 2011 Statistics Canada report, Women in Canada: A gender-based statistical report, suggests that the national homicide rate for Aboriginal women is at least seven times higher than for non-Aboriginal women.
NUPGE encourages members to join Women's Memorial March
"The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has a strong history of being an ally to those working on the frontlines to combat inequality and violence against women," says James Clancy, NUPGE National President. "We are proud to echo the call of so many, especially the Native Women's Association of Canada, for a concrete plan to end the systemic discrimination against Aboriginal women."
"We encourage our members to join with others in communities across the country to march on February 14," continued Clancy. "We must be the face of those who are no longer with us and send a message to our leaders that this kind of violence and inequality can be, must be, eliminated."
"The consequence of doing nothing is to allow more women's lives to be lost, more families to suffer and more injustices to occur," Clancy said.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE