Flags at all Conestoga campuses will be flown at half-mast today in recognition of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The national observance was established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada to mark the anniversary of the murders of 14 young women at Polytechnique Montréal (December 6, 1989).
As well as commemorating the young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence in Canada has been magnified and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been reports from police services, shelters and local organization of an increase in calls related to gender-based violence across Canada during the pandemic.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women is about remembering those who have experienced gender-based violence and those we have lost to it; it is also a time to take action. We can help prevent and address gender-based violence by remembering and learning from our past, listening to survivors, and speaking up against harmful behaviour.