IS THIS CANADA’S WATERSHED MOMENT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN?
Violence against women. It’s happening on Parliament Hill, across Canada, and around the world. And now people are talking about it. Is this Canada’s watershed moment on violence against women?
Hosted by the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, in partnership with Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Amnesty International Canada, Oxfam, Inter Pares, Women, Peace and Security Network - Canada, and MATCH International Women’s Fund.
Approximately 50 individuals were in attendance, including Members of Parliament (representing all of Canada’s major political parties), Parliamentarian legislative assistants, civil society, academia, government officials and activists.
The event centered on the question: ‘is this Canada’s watershed moment to take meaningful action to address violence against women?’ Beginning with the recognition that the issue of violence against women continues to garner attention on Parliament Hill, across Canada, and around the world, the event invited representatives from all political parties to discuss what their parties are doing to meaningfully address these issues and what concretely needs to be done to achieve real progress, at home and globally.
All panelists recognized the need for the issue of violence against women to be raised in the context of the upcoming federal election, highlighting the recently launched ‘Up for Debate’ campaign which aims to do so. Concretely, panelists discussed the urgent need for a national action plan on violence against women, alongside an inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women. In the context of Canada’s actions globally, the issue of greater respect and protection of women’s sexual and reproductive rights was raised, particularly as critical elements to meeting the needs of survivors of sexual violence.
Pictured (from left to right): Kate Heartfield (Ottawa Citizen), Niki Ashton (MP – Churchill, Official Opposition Critic for the Status of Women), Dr. Kirsty Duncan (MP – Etobicoke North, Critic for the Status of Women and International Development), and Elizabeth May (MP – Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party).
Pictured: Rathika Sitsabaiesan, MP – Scarborough-Rouge River, Chair of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD)