The struggle against gender-based violence


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/12/2020 (905 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

On Dec. 6, 1989 I was working at the reception desk of a feminist program on a university campus in Toronto, Ont., when a man entered a post-secondary school 500 kilometres away and shot 14 women dead because he was angry at feminists.  

At that time, I was also a student learning feminist counselling and advocacy skills in order to work with victims of gender-based violence.  I was 23 years old and the women murdered that day were my peers.

For 31 years, the massacre of women at École Polytechnique in Montreal has framed my activism. I am keenly aware that gender-based violence remains a daily threat to women, trans, two-spirit and non-binary Manitobans today. In fact, Manitoba’s rate of violence against women is currently double the national rate, and Indigenous women are killed at six times the rate of non-Indigenous women.

Supplied image Wolseley MLA Lisa Naylor has been highlighting the 16 Days of Advocacy Against Gender Violence campaign on her social media platforms. It began Nov. 25 and runs through Dec. 10.

On social media, I have been highlighting the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence from Nov. 25 through Dec. 10.  

During the pandemic, Manitobans have been cut off from the supports needed to mitigate the risk and incidence of violence.  Social service agencies are struggling from lack of funding, affordable housing is scarce, families are stressed, victims are locked down with abusers, and all of these examples disproportionately affect women.  

What does activism against gender-based violence look like?

It starts with any action taken to value the lives of women, trans, two-spirit and non-binary people.It means speaking out against all forms of violence — physical, sexual and psychological including violence perpetrated on social media. It means fighting for pay equity, pushing for comprehensive sexual health education in schools, and demanding adequate street lighting and accessible public transportation.

It also means addressing systemic issues that have disproportionate gender-based impacts, such as fighting for universal paid sick leave, supporting increases for provincial childcare spending, increasing affordable housing units, and acknowledging our deep-rooted systems of inequity including the role of racism.   

As your MLA, I commit to keeping the discussion of inequity and violence prevention at the forefront of every government decision that is made on behalf of Manitobans.  

If you need support right now, please call the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelter’s confidential toll-free crisis line  at1-877-977-0007 or the Klinic sexual assault crisis line at 204-786-8631.

As always, reach out to our office with questions or concerns as we are still serving you by phone and email while our office is closed to visitors.  Email us at or call 204-792-2773.

Lisa Naylor

Lisa Naylor
Wolseley constituency report

Lisa Naylor is the NDP MLA for Wolseley.

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