Marking 16 Days of Activism
December is a month when we often think about the darkness and the light. It is only after we travel through the darkness to the shortest day of the year, that we can then rejoice in the slowly increasing hours of light. These movements are reflected in some of the events we focus on during this season.
Nov. 25 marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. This is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. It begins Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
Within that period of time, on Dec. 6, we mourn the loss of 14 women who were murdered at Polytechnique Montréal. They were studying engineering, sciences which at that time were considered by some to be the purview of men.
We also mourn the loss of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, whose numbers are staggeringly high. Their families and communities are hoping for some resolution to this tragedy.
In this year of COVID we are also anxious about the increase in reports of domestic violence coming out of the pandemic. As a community, we need to find solutions to violence against women.
As dark as this may be, we do see some progress, some steps being taken towards the light. Around the world many organizations are supporting women and girls in taking positive steps, in taking control of their health and their lives. Statistics have shown that when women and girls are supported in playing a constructive role in society the whole community benefits.
In the Cowichan Valley much of this work is done through the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, working as a team with other community organizations.
We know that the ability to live a healthy, loving, satisfying, contributing life begins at home. We work “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World”. At this time we celebrate any progress that is being made and invite you to be part of the solution.
Social Justice Committee
Cowichan Women Against Violence