Much work remains to eradicate male violence against women in New Brunswick and in Canada as a whole. One simply has to read the news to see that violence against women is alive and well in our communities. In 2009, Harris Decima conducted an Attitudinal Survey on Violence Against Women on behalf of the Government of New Brunswick. It found that 53 per cent of New Brunswickers believe that it is not a crime to slap your wife on the face after an argument. Twenty-seven per cent of New Brunswickers surveyed said that it is not a crime to rape your wife.
One particular segment of the Canadian population faces a particularly high rate of violence: aboriginal women. While as a group, Aboriginal women make up 3 per cent of the female population in Canada, they make up 10 per cent of all murdered women. The New Brunswick Federation of Labour supports the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s demand for a National Public Inquiry and a National Framework of Action to address the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
December 6th is also a day where we renew our commitments to fight for change. Until all women have true economic and social equality, ending the violence we experience is not possible. Fighting violence requires an integrated approach; we must work together and commit ourselves:
to take a stand on violence against women,
to make violence our business: break the silence,
to listen to the victims: protect them and support them,
to raise non-violent children,
to encourage offenders to get help.
For women to achieve social and economic equality, the NBFL Women’s Committee calls upon the provincial government to focus their efforts to: implement pay equity legislation for the private sector, increase funding to social housing, implement a universal and accessible non-profit child care program and increase funding for women’s centres, shelters, rape crisis centres and front-line advocacy and support.
Finally, we encourage all of you to participate in the December 6th activities organized in your region.
The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is New Brunswick’s largest central labour body representing 40,000 members of both public sector and private sector labour unions.