December 6th. Just a date. Maybe an early Christmas party or a school play. Perhaps a time to start putting out decorations or maybe – a time to purchase candles and roses. A purchase not made in anticipation of a celebration but one made in memorial of 14 women who were gunned down simply because they were women and they were there.
December 6th, 1989 at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal
Barbara Maria Klucznik
became victims of hatred. Victims of misogyny. Lights shining on the ugly truth that women had not yet been fully accepted as equals.
Twenty years on can we really say that much has changed?
In 1982 MP Margaret Mitchell rose to educate the house on domestic violence, she told them how one in 10 Canadian women were victims of domestic assault the response by the male MPs was laughing and shouting.
In 2009 during the height of the H1N1 Flu scare MP Carolyn Bennett rose to ask a question on behalf of a troubled constituent. The woman in question was pregnant and had received conflicting advice as to the safety of the H1N1 vaccine, she was looking to her government for help. The response? Laughter, derision, hooting and hollering. 27 years later women’s concerns are still seen as a joke.
When Margaret Mitchell was elected in 1979 [30 years ago] women accounted for approximately 10% of elected MPs. Today that number has risen to approximately 21% that is an abysmal amount of representation and a sad commentary on the last 30 years.
This year as you remember and mourn the loss of 14 of our sisters remember also the words of Joe Hill; Don’t Mourn, Organize!
Help Equal Voice to get more women elected, fight for strong gun control, support women’s reproductive choice, donate to a local shelter, help a woman or a young girl learn tech skills or use those skills to help others.
In the words of Emma Goldman;
“No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action.”