We’re celebrating our Dads this Sunday – biological, adoptive, figurative -- you name it. Because being a father doesn’t depend on chromosomes as much as it does on caring. And it’s a big job what with the expectations to shoulder half of everything from the mundane tasks like diaper changes to driving the kids to soccer games and dance lessons to serving as an exemplary role model.
On Mother’s Day, we celebrate our moms – women who bring us into the world, raise us and love us no matter what we do. They love us so much, they’ll even point out our faults without prompting and tell us how to do better!
People have been marking Women’s Day for more than 100 years -- since 1909, in fact. The United Nations made it official in 1975, naming March 8th as a day of celebration. Thousands of events are held and there’s lots of talk about change but are we really making progress when it comes to gender equality?
In 2015, we can and will move forward on changing social norms to eliminate domestic abuse.
The issues of abuse and violence against women were never far from the headline news last year. Media coverage of the kidnapping of girls in Nigeria and the actions of famous men Ray Rice, Jian Ghomeshi, Bill Cosby and their organizations, the NFL, NHL and CBC continued to drive conversations about gender inequality and woman abuse in 2014. The news was disturbing but the conversations and positive action that have been generated can help propel society forward...
In fact, there’s a great deal of evidence to suggest that domestic abuse increases over the season. Triggers can include financial worries, increased alcohol consumption, family pressures and expectations as well as the simple fact that people are off work and spend more time with those close to them.
Domestic violence not only affects victims. It impacts their family, friends and neighbours too. If you know someone you think may be in an abusive relationship, you can take steps to help them get through the holidays safely.
On December 6th this year, we will remember them – the 14 women gunned down 25 years ago at the Université de Montréal simply because of their gender. There will be sadness and regret for personal loss but December 6th is also a reminder of the need to take action around the world to end violence against women.
The 16 Days Campaign begins on November 25th each year. Founded in 1991, the Campaign has enjoyed the support of more than 5,000 organizations in 187 countries. Stretching from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th, the 16 Days Campaign runs until December 10th – Human Rights Day.
The Neighbours Friends and Families campaign promotes change through education. Education passes our aims in life and our ways of acting and interacting from one generation to the next. Generally, we learn though any experience that has a formative effect on the way we think, feel, or act. In a narrower, more technical sense, education is a formal organized process which deliberately transmits accumulated knowledge, skills, customs and values from one generation to another.