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Dec. 6, 2023

RNAO stands united on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (Dec. 6, 2023)

National Day of Remembrance and Violence Against Women

Nurses join the nation today in commemorating the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and honouring the lives of the 14 young women that lost their lives to gender-based violence at L'École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989.

This solemn day serves as a reminder of the systemic violence and discrimination that women across Canada continue to face every day. RNAO condemns violence of any kind against women – especially against nurses, most of whom are women – and reaffirms its commitment to creating a society where every woman can live freely, equally and without fear. Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is an opportunity to remember lives lost and promote the health, wellbeing and safety of all women.

RNAO mourns nurses who have lost their lives due to gender-based violence, including Zahra Abdille, Lori Dupont, Sonia Varaschin and Nathalie Warmerdam.

At this time, we also remember missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. We are reminded of the need to act on the calls for action into the high and disproportionate rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

And we remain deeply disturbed with ongoing gender-based violence around the world. As documented by the United Nations, examples of gender-based violence against women and girls include arbitrary killings, torture, sexual violence and forced marriage. Women and girls are primarily and increasingly targeted with sexual violence, including as a tactic of war. 

RNAO will continue to fight the hatred that results in these tragedies. Working together, we can detect, prevent and end gender-based violence and harassment by listening to survivors, speaking up against harmful behaviours, engaging in meaningful conversations, challenging stereotypes, and promoting respectful relationships.

RNAO stands with all women and asks everyone to do the same. Honour victims of violence by wearing a white ribbon and observing a moment of silence on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. ET.