Started in 1991 by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence begin on November 25 with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and end on International Human Rights Day on December 10. The 16 Days also include the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and Girls on December 6 which marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal because they were women. These 16 Days are a time to reflect on gender-based violence, including violence against women and girls, and to take action to end it.
November 25 was identified as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999.The date was chosen to commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic who were violently assassinated in 1960. On that day, gender-based violence is globally recognized. Each year on this day, governments, international organizations and NGOs are invited to organize activities to raise public awareness of the issue.
Gender-based violence affects all of us. It hurts families, weakens the fabric of our society, and takes a heavy toll on our communities and our economy. Canadians are reminded during the 16 Days of Activism that they can take actions, now and throughout the year, to eliminate gender-based violence. Because everyone has a role to play in preventing and addressing this form of violence.
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (December 6)
December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They were targeted for being women.
On December 6, we commemorate these 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence. It represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the occurrence of gender-based violence in our society and to consider the actions they will take to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.