The international 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender-based violence is starting on Nov. 25, and the Canadian Federation of University Women Aurora/Newmarket are taking part with 100 other clubs across Canada.
The 16 Days campaign dates back to 1991 and since then has been calling for the elimination of gender-based violence in all forms.
Between Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, CFUW Aurora Newmarket’s advocacy committee will be leading their members in a number of education and action activities as part of this campaign.
“Gender-based violence pervades our society and indeed the world. Addressing this grave societal issue is a major focus of CFUW,” said Becky Haggith, chair of the advocacy committee.
The group’s participation in the campaign will include social media messaging, and attending a virtual vigil on Dec. 6 to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. It is held on the anniversary of the mass-murder of 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989.
The Aurora Newmarket club also encourages participants to wear white, create their own memorials, and take to social media to raise awareness for the campaign.
CFUW National has also released an online toolkit to guide participants on how to contribute positively during the 16 days.
“Together, we can raise awareness about gender-based violence by supporting survivors and taking action against sexism and racism,” said Kathy Wosnick, president of CFUW Aurora/Newmarket.
The club strives to improve the life of women and girls and they work with local agencies that advocate for women.
In a news release, they said that gender-based violence in Canada affects women, girls, LGBTQ2+, non-binary, Indigenous, and racialized women disproportionately.
According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 67 per cent of Canadians know at least one woman who has experienced some form of gender-based violence.
The 16 Days of Activism campaign runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10.