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

by Amy Juschka

Each year, people around the world observe 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which runs from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) through December 10 (World Human Rights Day).  

Sixteen Days of Activism began in 1991 with activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute. It is a chance for Canadians and others around the world to come together and speak out against gender-based violence. 

In Canada, we also mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On this day, we remember the 14 women who were murdered at École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989 in a horrific act of violence and misogyny.  

Today we remember: 

  • Geneviève Bergeron 

  • Hélène Colgan 

  • Nathalie Croteau 

  • Barbara Daigneault 

  • Anne-Marie Edward 

  • Maud Haviernick 

  • Maryse Laganière 

  • Maryse Leclair 

  • Anne-Marie Lemay 

  • Sonia Pelletier 

  • Michèle Richard 

  • Annie St-Arneault 

  • Annie Turcotte 

  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz 

December 6

December 6 has become a day to remember all the women, girls, 2SLGBTQIA+ and gender diverse people who face violence because of their gender, gender expression or gender identity.  Each year on this day, we ask landmarks across Metro Vancouver to "light up the night" in honour and remembrance.

One in two women say they’ve experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. Every second day in Canada, a woman or girl is killed. Gender-based violence is a public health crisis that requires immediate and collective action at all levels.  

YWCA Metro Vancouver is working towards a future that is free from gender-based violence.  

  • We challenge attitudes and social norms that perpetuate violence or impose gender roles through public education and awareness building.  

  • We engage business, community and government to change policy and practices and strengthen legislation related to gender-based violence.  

  • We advocate for changes to the justice system to better serve people who have experienced gender-based violence.   

  • We partner with government and other organizations to research the impacts of gender-based violence and find innovative solutions to end it.  

  • We provide a range of services and supports for self-identified women who have experienced violence, and children who have witnessed abuse.  

  • We provide safe, affordable housing, early learning and child care and opportunities for training and employment to support women on their path to personal and economic wellbeing. 


Images: Province of British Columbia