Today marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism to end gender-based violence with this year’s theme, #DoneWaiting. The aim is to unite in solidarity with survivor advocates and women’s human right defenders to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence involves the use and abuse of power and control over another person and is perpetrated against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression, or perceived gender. Violence against women and girls is one form of gender-based violence. It also has an impact on LGBTQ2 and gender non-binary people.
Gender-based violence is all around us: in sexist jokes that demean women, in the language that we use, in media messages that objectify women, and in the rigid gender norms we impose on young children.
Domestic violence also has a significant impact on workplaces and workers, putting jobs and workplace safety at risk. These are the facts*:
• One third of Canadian workers experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
• Over half of workers experienced violence at or near their workplace.
• 82% found that domestic violence negatively affected their work performance
• Almost 40% said their co-workers were also impacted.
• Almost 40% of workers were prevented from getting to work.
• 8.5% of these workers lost their jobs as a result the violence they had experienced at home.
In the year since #MeToo, issues of sexism, misogyny, and gender-based violence have moved to the forefront of public discussion. Canadians, led by the courageous voices of survivors and their families, have been encouraged to reflect on their own actions and determine how they can best support the end of gender-based violence.
This is a time to increase awareness about the disproportionate levels of violence faced by women and girls as well as diverse populations, including: Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2 community members, gender non-binary individuals, those living in northern, rural, and remote communities, people with disabilities, newcomers, children and youth, and seniors.
You are encouraged to organize awareness campaigns in your workplace to help make a meaningful difference. Please share your advocacy work with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media using the hashtag #DoneWaiting.
*Canadian Labour Congress & University of Western Ontario (2014). Can Work be Safe When Home Isn’t? Initial Findings of a Pan-Canadian Survey on Domestic Violence and the Workplace. Retrieved from http://canadianlabour.ca/sites/default/files/media/dvwork_survey_report_2014_enr.pdf