Women march and rally to prevent further violence against aboriginal women and girls. UPDATED
Ottawa (7 July 2011) - National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) participants, attending the Women's Worlds 2011 conference in Ottawa, marched to Parliament Hill with hundreds of women on Tuesday, July 5 demanding the federal government address the ongoing violence against women, specifically the hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women across the country. Over 1,600 women are in attendance from countries around the globe for the week-long conference.
Echoing the repeated requests from the Native Women's Association of Canada through its Sister in Spirit Initative, participants called on the federal government to develop an action plan or task force to prevent further violence.
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Despite words of solidarity, Rona Ambrose, federal minister for the status of women Canada, suggested governments were already doing enough to address the issue of violence against aboriginal women. She rejected any call for a national action plan on the issue. Her sentiments were also echoed by other provincial status of women ministers who were in Gatineau, Quebec for a two-day meeting.
"This minister stood before participants on the eve of the conference, declaring how her Harper government would eradicate violence and inequality for women and then two days later, tells us they are already doing enough for women in this country," said Brenda Hildahl, NUPGE's Advisory Committee on Women's Issues chair. "It's shameful and we won't accept it."
NUPGE has supported the Native Women's Association of Canada's Sisters in Spirit Intiative which was started in 2006 to raise awareness to the issues of violence facing aboriginal women and girls. For the past five years NUPGE members have been active in their communities throughout the country drawing attention to this alarming issue.
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