16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence
November 25 marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign to raise awareness and support activism to end violence against women, girls and gender-diverse people.
Everyone should be able to live their life feeling safe and secure. However, for far too many people in our community, gender-based violence is a daily reality. Seven in ten workers have experienced harassment and violence at work, often at the hands of third parties such as customers, patients, and members of the public. The risk is particularly high for those in public-facing jobs, like retail, journalism, health care, education, transportation and hospitality, sectors dominated by women and gender-diverse workers.
Together with unions, workers, and community allies, we join the global #16Days movement to call for respect, safety, dignity and equity for women, girls and gender-diverse people in our community.
Here are some ways you can take action during the #16Days:
- Call on the federal government to commit to preventing and addressing third-party harassment and violence at work as part of its implementation of C-190. This must include a commitment to closing the gaps in existing legislation and regulation. This work should include a high-level meeting of union, employer, and government leaders to further understand the impact of this form of violence and to demonstrate a commitment to urgently addressing it.
- Call on WorkplaceNL and the provincial government to implement Recommendation 12.8 of the 2019 Statutory Review of Workers’ Compensation in Newfoundland and Labrador and establish a Health Care Safety Sector Council to promote safety in all health care related work environments.
- Tell the Government of Canada to #Act4QueerSafety and Tackle Rising Hate. Hate-motivated violence targeting 2SLGBTQIA+ communities is on the rise. While the government has taken positive steps in supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, inclusion and health in the past, they have not acted in the face of rising hate. We need their leadership, now.
- Educate yourself on gender-based violence. Take the St. John’s Status of Women Council’s free online e-course, Empowering Them, to better understand GBV and what you can do about it.
- Call or write your MHA and Premier Furey about improving pay equity and pay transparency legislation. The wage gap plays a role in impacting survivors of gender-based violence. Robust legislation that covers workers in the public AND private sector is essential.
- Take action on November 30 as part of Child Care Now’s National Day of Action. Sign the open letter to the federal government to end the crisis shortage of licensed child care spaces and support the early childhood education workforce and ensure those workers, almost all of whom are women, are compensated fairly. Affordable, quality child care is crucial to help end gender-based violence.
- Review the 231 Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. What actions can you take to fulfill the Calls to Justice?
- Consider how you can engage more women and gender-diverse people in decision-making structures at your local, within your union or in other community and volunteer work you do. Promoting the leadership and participation of women and gender-diverse folks in all spaces make those spaces safes and more inclusive for everyone.
- Support local organizations working to end gender-based violence. These organizations, such as local Women’s Centres/Shelters, do important work every day to support community through counselling, peer support, system navigation, shelter services, advocacy, education and more. There are 9 Status of Women Councils/Women’s Centres across Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Talk to your friends, family and coworkers about gender-based violence. Break the silence, show your support, and talk about how you can work together to end GBV.
- Does your workplace or collective agreement include a strong domestic violence leave policy? These policies are mandatory in Newfoundland and Labrador and are a critical mechanism to support people experiencing GBV.
- Host a vigil on December 6 to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. This could be an event or an educational display to raise awareness of gender-based violence.
- Call or write your MHA and Premier Furey to support the Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women’s decade-long call to action for a provincial task force on gender-based violence.
- Read the Safe Harbour Outreach Project’s Media Guide which provides guidance on how to decrease stigma when we talk about sex work and sex workers. Understanding and unlearning stigma and stereotypes helps us to end violence against sex workers.
- Reach out to local shelters, transition houses and community organizers to find out how you can support calls for safe, affordable housing in Newfoundland and Labrador. Unstable housing or homelessness increases your risk of gender-based violence.
- Celebrate the people in your workplace and community and the organizations who are working every day to end gender-based violence.