Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Statement on International Women’s Day 2013

Thursday, March 7 2013

On this year’s International Women’s Day, we celebrate the social, political and economic advances of women in Canada and around the world. But we also commit to continue challenging all forms of discrimination, exploitation, and violence against women.

Even though there have been tremendous gains since the first International Women’s Day in 1911, systemic forms of discrimination still leave women more susceptible to violence and exploitation.

Women are disproportionately the victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. For example, women in Canada are 5 times more likely than men to be victims of sexual assaults  and 97% of the perpetrators of such assaults are male (Statistics Canada, 2008). Incidences of violence are exacerbated by racism, transphobia, heterosexism, ableism, and income inequalities. Violence against women affects both the working conditions and the learning conditions of faculty, staff, and students on Canadian campuses.

Many systemic causes are linked to discrimination, exploitation, and violence against women, including:

Change needs to happen in our communities, at our post-secondary institutions, and at provincial, national, and international levels. As such, CAUT encourages local academic staff associations to join in International Women’s Day activities on March 8th in their communities to address violence against women in Canada. Local academic staff associations are also encouraged to join in the call for: a national strategy to address a comprehensive plan to eradicate violence against women; a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women; and for governments to be held accountable for their progress in eliminating and preventing violence against women.

 

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