On December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, we remember the 14 women whose lives were stolen at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. And though it was 33 years ago, we still see a shocking lack of protection for the woman who is killed by her intimate partner every six days in Canada or the Indigenous women who are killed at a rate of nearly seven times that of non-Indigenous women.
The workplace is no exception when it comes to gender-based violence. A recent national survey by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) found that half of Canadian women experienced workplace sexual harassment, and almost one-third report having experienced non-consensual sexual touching (a type of sexual assault) in the workplace. Almost 90% of women in Canada use strategies to avoid unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, including avoiding specific people and altering the way that they dress.
Women, Two-Spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming workers are more likely to work in public-facing jobs and are often at the front-line of third-party violence. This reality is also true for PSAC members – the largest numbers of women employed by the federal public service can be found in Employment and Social Development Canada, where the management and delivery of social programs and services is often public-facing. That’s why PSAC is proud to join our labour allies across Canada in signing on to the Canadian Labour Congress’ call to end gender-based violence at work.
In a time of escalating gender-based violence, unions are united in preventing and addressing all forms of violence and harassment in the workplace, and we expect employers to step up.
Learn more and take action:
- Read the CLC op ed on ending gender-based violence at work.
- Learn more about how PSAC is fighting for mandatory, intersectional training to all employees on harassment, sexual harassment, and violence at work.
- Find out how much progress has been made on the National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
- Read PSAC member Bonnie Robichaud’s recent memoir of her eleven-year fight for justice, which was won in the Supreme Court of Canada.
- Learn more about the results of the CLC’s National Survey on Harassment and Violence at work.
In memory of
Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz