This Thursday, Dec. 6, the UCalgary neighborhood will observe the Nationwide Day of Remembrance and Motion on Violence In opposition to Ladies, commemorating the 14 girls whose lives have been taken on Dec. 6, 1989, at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal.
This yr’s memorial occasion takes place from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the primary atrium of the Canadian Pure Sources Restricted Engineering Advanced (ENG 122) — a brand new location that was chosen to honour the truth that 12 of the 14 girls being remembered on today have been engineering college students.
Invoice Rosehart, dean of the Schulich College of Engineering, sees this occasion as an vital alternative to remind ourselves to not be complacent with regards to confronting inequality and violence towards girls. “We should not solely work to embrace variety; we have to take decisive motion to confront intolerance and to guard the weak, as a result of this struggle isn’t over,” he says.
The tackle at this yr’s occasion will probably be given by Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice-chancellor, and the previous dean of the Schulich College of Engineering. Marcela Coelho Lopes, vice-president (exterior) of the Graduate College students’ Affiliation, and Sagar Grewal, president of the College students’ Union, can even converse on the occasion.
The memorial ceremony is an annual reminder that, as a neighborhood, the work to finish violence towards girls and women isn’t completed. Twenty-nine years have handed for the reason that misogynist act of violence that claimed the lives of 14 girls at L’École Polytechnique, however appalling acts of violence towards girls in Canada are nonetheless the norm and never an exception.
The United Nations states that violence towards girls and women is essentially the most widespread human rights violation on the earth, and it’s all of our accountability to behave to finish the widespread misogyny by which it’s enabled. The Worldwide Day for the Elimination of Violence towards Ladies on Nov. 25 marks the start of 16 Days of Activism towards Gender-Based mostly Violence. Throughout these 16 days, the Authorities of Canada asks that everybody take concrete steps to query, name out and converse up towards misogynistic violence. The 16 days, ending Dec. 10 on Worldwide Human Rights Day, name consideration to violence towards girls as a human rights situation.
One a part of the UCalgary neighborhood, the Ladies’s Useful resource Centre (WRC), has been serving to elevate consciousness in their very own manner via a long-standing annual custom. Every year, Peer Helpers and different college students, together with employees and school members, come collectively to make candles in reminiscence of the ladies who misplaced their lives at L’École Polytechnique. This yr, these handmade beeswax candles will probably be bought for $5 a pair from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Dec. 6 memorial occasion. The proceeds assist the WRC’s important programming to finish gender-based violence.
Connor McDonald, kinesiology main and volunteer WRC Peer Helper, led the candle-making exercise.
“It was a strategy to collectively exhibit that not solely is salient violence like this clearly not tolerated, however any violence towards girls is a travesty, and folks won’t stand for it,” he says.
Candle-making to advertise peace grew to become a convention in 1987 with the Canadian Voice of Ladies and has since been reclaimed to recollect the 14 lives misplaced, and to encourage us to convey an finish to violence towards girls.
Laura Fitterer, graduate program strategist at The College of Public Coverage, helped arrange the occasion viewing by livestream on the downtown campus. She believes that constructing bridges throughout campuses to attach college students with important assist and advocacy companies is important when opening dialogue round gender-based violence.
“I used to be a younger lady in college when the bloodbath occurred at L’École Polytechnique,” she says. “The murders have been a terrifying reminder that, for a lot of girls working in the direction of a free selection and unbiased future, gender-based violence was nonetheless very actual in Canada.”