December 6 — National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is held every year on December 6, in commemoration of the 14 women murdered at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989, an act of gendered violence.

  • Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), mechanical engineering student
  • Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
  • Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
  • Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
  • Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  • Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
  • Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
  • Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

Facts about gendered violence.

  1. Around the world, as many as 1 in every 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way – most often by someone she knows, including by her husband or another male family member.
  2. Women are more susceptible to violence during times of emergences or crisis due to increased insecurity.
  3. 1 in 5 women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
  4. About 1 in 4 women are abused during pregnancy, which puts both mother and child at risk.
  5. Laws that promote gender equality are often not applied.
  6. At least 130 million women have been forced to undergo female genital mutilation/cutting.
  7. “Honour” Killings take the lives of 1000s of young women every year, mainly in Western Asia, North Africa and parts of South Asia.
  8. At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be expected to be alive are ‘missing’ from various populations as a result of sex-selective abortions or neglect.
  9. More often than not, perpetrators of gender-based violence go unpunished.
  10. Worldwide, women are twice as likely as men to be illiterate, limiting their ability to demand their rights and protection.
  11. Early marriage can have serious harmful consequences including, denial of education, health problemsinclude premature pregnancies, which cause higher rates of maternal and infant mortality. The power imbalance also means that young brides are unable to negotiate condom use or protest when their husbands engage in extra-marital sexual relations.
  12. Violence against women represents a drain on the economically productive workforce.
  13. Each year, an estimated 800,000 people are trafficked across borders – 80 per cent of them women and girls. Most of them end up trapped in the commercial sex trade.
  14. Gender-based violence also serves – by intention or effect – to perpetuate male power and control. It is sustained by a culture of silence and denial of the seriousness of the health consequences of abuse.
  15. Women living with physical and or cognitive impairment experience violence 2-3 times more often than women living without impairments. 60% 0f women with a disability experience some form of violence.
  16. Immigrant, refugee and non status women experience a unique form of abuse such as reporting them to immigration authorities and possibly being deported.
  17. Lesbian and bi-sexual women are 3-4 times more likely than heterosexual women to report experience intimate partner violence in the past five years.

Sources:  and


Events in Nova Scotia

-December 6 begins at 5:15 pm at the Halifax Public Library on Spring Garden for the outside vigil – Afterwards we will go inside to Paula Reagan Hall where there will be speakers and a showing of movie Polytechnique and a closing.

-5 pm in Frost Park (Storm location is Yarmouth Town Hall – Meet at the Yarmouth Town Hall and a candlelight vigil will proceed to the monument in Frost Park. A few words and songs to commemorate the national Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Organized by the South West Labour Group and Tri-Counties Women’s Centre.

-7 pm vigil will be held at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

-10 am vigil to be held at the NSCC Pictou Campus gymnasium in Stellarton.

Acadia University
-Women’s & Gender Studies invite members of the Acadia University community and the community at large to the Annual December 6th Vigil to commemorate Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women from 4:30 – 5:30 pm at the Wolfville Farmers Market, 24 Elm Avenue, Wolfville.

New Glasgow
-National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:
Not so Silent Vigil from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at 135 Provost St., New Glasgow (former Lolly’s location)
Join us for an evening of musical, literary and dramatic performances followed by an Open Mic. This event will speak about The issue of Violence Against Women and celebrate the many beautiful, brave and fabulous women in our lives.

Every Womans Center
21 Trinity Avenue

-Candlelight vigil at 6 pm at Shipyard Landing Gazebo, 210 King St., Bridgewater. In case of inclement weather, location: HB Studios, 543 Glen Allan Drive, Bridgewater.
Hosted by the Second Story Women’s Centre, South Shore Labour Council, Harbour House and Be the Peace Institute.