December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. Today, we remember the 14 young women studying to become engineers at École Polytechnique in Montréal who were shot and killed by a gunman – targeted simply because they were women. Over 30 years ago, this tragedy initiated a dialogue that contributed to tougher gun control laws and improved emergency response. It also brought to light the gender-based violence that women still continue to face today.

According to a report by the World Health Organization, which looked at data from 161 countries between 2000 and 2018, one in three women are subjected to gender-based violence at least once in their lifetime. This figure remains mostly unchanged in the last decade.

Today, we honour the victims of the École Polytechnique mass shooting and reaffirm OPSEU/SEFPO’s commitment to fight for social improvements to prevent all forms of gender-based violence.

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A solitary white rose sits on a black background with a lit white candle