Day of Remembrance, Canada, 6 Dec

‘Shadows of the Wanderer’ by Ana Maria Pacheco, UK

Why 6 December?

On 6 December 1989 fourteen women were murdered and nine women and four men were wounded at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada. The man responsible specifically targeted women, separating them from their male colleagues. The violence ended when he shot and killed himself.

Since that day, 6 December has been set aside by the Canadian Parliament for all Canadians as a day to remember women victims of violence and a day to take action on violence against women.

Why a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women?

As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, 6 December represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

November and December are important months for raising awareness of gender-based violence in Canada and around the world. In addition to the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on 6 December, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women takes place on 25 November and marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which ends on 10 December, with International Human Rights Day.

Remembering in the Church

The Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada provides an archive of worship services, listed below, available to help incorporate remembrance and action on violence against women into the life of your faith community.  They can be used on 6 December or adapted for use at another time.

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