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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Should Not Be a Woman’s Responsibility

group of women and men seated around boardoom table talking

52% of Canadian women have been sexually harassed in the workplace, and 28% of Canadian women have been the subject of non-consensual sexual touching in the workplace. The era of #metoo is long overdue.

A 2018 survey from the Angus Reid Institute also points to an important point: views on workplace sexual harassment largely depend on age and gender. Older generations often have different views on the issue, and opinions tend to differ quite greatly between young men and young women.

 

Flexibility in the Workplace Can Help Keep More Women in the Workforce

group of women and men seated around boardoom table talkingStudies show an equal number of women in the workplace and in management has a direct correlation to the success of the organization. Meaning: when there’s a gender balance, a company is much more likely to succeed and report higher revenue.

Women play a clear role when it comes to prosperous workplaces.

National Day of Mourning - More than just remembering, let’s do something

many tealight candles in small glass vases on black backgroundHeld on April 28, the National Day of Mourning in Canada is a day dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness on the job or due to a work-related injury. It’s also, importantly, a time to renew our work toward improving health and safety in the workplace while also preventing more deaths, injuries and illnesses.

According to official numbers from Canada’s worker compensation agencies, close to 1,000 Canadians die each year because of their jobs. However, studies reveal that this number is really only a small fraction when it comes to the reality of work-related deaths in the country.

Domestic violence in Canada: STILL at the wrong end of the problem, asking the wrong questions

open door facing walkway with white picket fenceStats Canada has released data gleaned from a “snapshot day” that looked at women’s shelters on a day in April last year. On that day, there were more than 3500 women in the shelter system across Canada. 3500 is not a small number. Approximately one in five will return to the home they fled from. This is no surprise for anyone who understands the ways in which abused women face an uphill climb to protect themselves and their children when they have violent partners.

“Why doesn’t she just leave?” is the wrong question. It presumes that leaving an abusive relationship is a simple solution that will end the violence. The greatest time of risk for being killed is separation. The question also places the weight for violence that is happening to her, on her. It’s ‘on her’ because the implicit assumption is that she needs to stop the abuse – by leaving. This is how victims are blamed for being victimized.

Take guns away from stalkers – a very good idea

open book on table with judges gavel and scaleNews sources reported this week that the National Rifle Association (NRA) will oppose the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the U.S. The NRA is taking issue with the “red-flag” provision that seeks to prevent people who have committed domestic violence from obtaining firearms. The VAWA was first legislated in 1994 to assist victims of domestic and sexual violence. Congress is set to vote to reauthorize the Act in April. New legislation is being proposed to expand the prohibitive category beyond spouses to include anyone convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a dating partner as well as those subject to a restraining order. The previous legislation limited the definition to spouses or ex-spouses. Perpetrators of domestic homicide are most often male.[1]

International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Progress in Equality, but Still Work to Do

International Day of Women and Girls in ScienceAs we celebrate the 2019 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, it’s important to take stalk of the recent progress we’ve made in Canada on promoting equality in the sciences but also the work that remains ahead of us. I am very proud to serve as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Science and Sport, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, and to serve my constituents in London West and all Canadians on this important file.

What Employers Can do to Support Victims of Domestic Violence

handdrawn hands with #MeToo written on them on black backgroundThe #MeToo movement has put sexual harassment and violence in the workplace front and center. But what about violence that occurs in the personal lives of employees, such as domestic abuse and sexual violence?

Is this something that employers should be thinking about and create policies to help support employees who have experienced this type of abuse? The answer is yes.

December 6 – Day of Remembrance and Action

Candle burning surrounded by roses on a white table clotgOn December 6, 1989, 13 female students and a female administrator at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal were murdered because they were women. The shocking impact of their deaths led Parliament to designate December 6 as a national day of remembrance in Canada. Nearly 30 years later, the effects of this tragedy continue to be felt and women remain targets because of their gender. According to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability (COJFA), by the end of September this year, 106 women and girls have been killed by gender-based violence. Approximately half of them were killed in Ontario. Over 100 women have been killed this year and that has not caused a public outcry or become a pressing national news story. The lack of attention and national outrage explains why we haven’t made greater progress in ending violence against women since 1989. The killing of women by intimate partners continues to remain invisible as a far-reaching public health issue.

Person's Day

What is Person’s Day? It’s the day when the Supreme Court of Canada officially declared females as “persons.” Yes, today we might think the idea that women not being viewed as persons is a wild and backward ideal, but this was the reality a mere 90 years ago. And in many parts of the world, women today are still fighting for the chance to be heard and viewed as equals.

#MeToo and the Pendulum Swing

#Me Too movementIt has only been a year since the flood of #metoo sexual assault and harassment reports surfaced to sink the careers of powerful men with long histories of abusive behaviour.  It took a tidal wave of voices to support the women who called Harvey Weinstein to account for his behaviour. Many others in the U.S. and Canada were caught in the same current and followed Weinstein out of sight. The door closed behind them.  For most, it is unclear where they ended up or how they are processing what happened. Do the banished actually consider their actions and make changes toward redemption in their lives? Or, are they brooding and resentful for having been caught and humiliated in the public square, waiting it out now to make a come-back?

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