Every year on this day, people across Saskatchewan pause for reflection on this National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. We take time to remember the names of these 14 engineering students who were slain at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal on December 6, 1989 in a heinous act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation.
But this day is about more than remembrance and reflection. Since being established by the Parliament of Canada in 1991, this commemoration date is also a day to raise awareness and mobilize the public. It is an opportunity for individuals, groups, and communities to actively speak out against violence against women.
Women of all social, economic and cultural groups are affected by violence. It impedes women’s equal participation in public life; causes damage to women’s mental and physical health; and damages friends, families and society as a whole. Violence against women is a human rights issue.
December 6 is a date to reflect on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, transgender women, and every woman in Saskatchewan and around the world whose lives have been disrupted, harmed, or lost to gender-based violence.
In Saskatchewan, we have a long and proud history of supporting human rights, but there’s more to be done. We must continue to work together to eradicate prejudice, hatred and violence. We must ensure the promise of equality becomes reality for all women.