Unifor’s activism against violence against women and gender-based violence in all its forms is strong and longstanding. Together workers have won efforts to prevent violence, and better support survivors. Women have led the way.
Women still experience violence predominantly at the hands of men, most often their intimate partners or family members. Men's violence against women has increased sharply during the pandemic.
By naming the source of the violence, we can focus more clearly on finding solutions.
In 2021, men in positions of power in the union commit to speak up and take action to prevent gender-based violence.
They issue the challenge below to all men in the union. It’s time to do your part to end gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence happens in all communities. However, some people face increased rates of violence including Indigenous, women of colour, two spirit, trans and non-binary people, lesbian and bisexual people, women with disabilities and women living in rural and remote regions.
All women, girls and gender diverse people are valued, respected and have a right to live free from violence.
November 25 starts a global campaign of 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The 16 days conclude on December 10, International Human Rights Day. On December 6, Canada will mark our National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
Read the five things men can do to end gender-based violence, then make your commitment below:
- Recognize it: Gender-based violence can be physical and sexual assault, sexual harassment, emotional or psychological abuse, or any type of coercive control. Naming men’s violence recognizes the particular gendered aspect of the violence that women and gender diverse people face.
- Speak up: Bystander intervention is key to preventing violence and harassment. Find a safe way to intervene and challenge men around you. If you are witness to harassment or abuse, offer resources to the survivor including the tools in your union.
For sexist jokes or remarks, find a way to put a stop to it, so the person sharing those thoughts doesn’t think that you’re on his side.
- Support women and gender diverse people around you: If someone in your life is being discriminated against, harassed or isolated, stand with them. Sometimes saying, “I believe you,” and “It’s not your fault,” can start a supportive conversation. Do not look away from an uncomfortable situation. Reach out instead. It can be as simple as listening or connecting them to community help or a Women’s Advocate. To find out more about the Woman’s Advocate Program see www.unifor.org/women and share some resources from the federal Gender Based Violence Knowledge Centre.
- Teach the next generation: Make sure boys aren’t taught dangerous gender norms, and grow up learning about consent. Demonstrate that being a man doesn’t mean controlling or abusing women or gender diverse people. We all have a role in passing on healthy values to the next generation.
- Use your power in the union: Economic security is key to personal security. Bargaining and enforcing key measures like pay equity, employment equity, anti-harassment language, family leaves, paid domestic violence leave, good wages and other workplace rights contributes to economic security. These measures also address the devaluing that women and gender diverse people face in society. This is all part of preventing gender-based violence.
Will you commit to do your part to end gender-based violence?
Add your name below, and share your commitment online.
Tweet: I have a responsibility to end men’s violence. I commit to taking action to disrupt the attitudes and behaviours that enable gender-based violence in our society.
All year round, you can share this poster and these ideas. Ending gender-based violence takes every day actions.