Status of Women Minister Stephanie McLean issued the following statement to mark the the United Nations 16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based Violence, Nov. 25 – Dec. 10.
“This year’s campaign takes place amidst a global outcry, where millions of women have used the #MeToo hashtag to bravely share stories of sexual harassment and assault. It starkly exposed how gender inequality and the pervasive power imbalance between men and women is a root cause of gender-based violence.
“Violence against women and girls is one of the most persistent and widespread human rights violations today. In Alberta and around the world, women and girls continue to face discrimination, daily sexism in the workplace and in public, lower pay than men, violence in their homes and sexual harassment on the street and online. It must end.
“This year’s theme, Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls, compels us to focus on the most underserved and marginalized women and girls, including refugees, Indigenous women and women with disabilities.
“Over the next 16 days, I will share actions our government is taking to address violence against women and I challenge all Albertans to do the same by empowering girls to lead, sponsoring women at work, shutting down sexist comments, intervening when they see a woman being harassed, believing survivors and being a partner in advancing women’s equality. I also encourage Albertans to share the actions they’re taking on social media using the hashtag #16daysAB.”
- Orange is the United Nations designated colour to symbolize a brighter future. Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and again on Dec. 6, the legislature will be lit orange.
- On the 16th day, Dec. 10, which is also Human Rights Day, the legislature, the McDougall Centre in Calgary, Calgary Tower and the High Level Bridge in Edmonton will also be lit orange.
- Seven out of 10 Albertans have known a woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse.
- Indigenous women are three times more likely to report experiencing violence than non-Indigenous women.
- The Government of Alberta has been investing in supports for survivors and addressing gender-based violence, including:
- Providing an additional $15 million to support women’s emergency shelters.
- Dedicating $1.5 million in grants to support 33 innovative, community-based projects that work to support women and girls.