NUPGE is encouraging all Canadians to sign online message to Prime Minister Harper asking him to establish a national plan of action to stop violence against Indigenous women.
Ottawa (24 Nov. 2009) - On November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is encouraging Canadians to join Amnesty International members around the world to start their day by signing an online message to Prime Minister Harper asking him to establish a national plan of action to stop violence against Indigenous women.
For the last five years, organizations such as Amnesty International, the Native Women's Association of Canada, NUPGE and other social justice groups have worked to raise awareness of the extremely high levels of violence faced by Aboriginal women in Canada. It is estimated that approximately 500 Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing in the last 20 years. This estimate is supported by 1996 government statistics showing that Aboriginal women were five times more likely to die as a result of violence than any other group of Canadian women.
Canada is supposed to report back to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) this month on steps taken to address the high levels of violence endured by Aboriginal women in Canada. The recommendation from CEDAW is an example of the growing pressure on Canada to address this issue.
On November 25, people from around the world are being asked to start their day by signing an online message to the Prime Minister. The web action will keep track of the numbers, what part of the world the messages are coming from, and comments that people make. The action will then be continued through the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.
Send a Wake Up Call to Prime Minister Harper using the text below and add your own message:
Subject line: It’s time for Canada to stop violence against Indigenous women.
Dear Prime Minister Harper:
The scale of violence faced by Indigenous women in Canada requires a comprehensive and coordinated response. I welcome the recent commitment by Canadian officials to develop a national plan of action to ensure Indigenous women’s safety, economic security and well-being.
I urge your government to work with Indigenous women to develop a comprehensive strategy to:
• Ensure Indigenous women’s access to justice, including effective and unbiased police response to all cases of missing and murdered women;
• Improve public awareness and accountability through the consistent collection and publication of comprehensive national statistics on rates of violent crime against Indigenous women;
• Eliminate discrimination in funding of government services for Indigenous women and families; and,
• Address the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, including closing the economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
NUPGE and the Sisters in Spirit Initiative
The Sisters in Spirit Initiative is a multi-year research, education and policy initiative designed to investigate the disproportionately high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
NUPGE has supported this initiative with funding through its "Global Women’s Projects".
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