Let’s renew our vow to end violence against our sisters

By Aaron Berhane March 8, 2007 International Women’s Day (IWD) will mark its 30th anniversary on March 8th, 2007. Founded in 1977 by the United Nation...

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By Aaron Berhane
March 8, 2007

International Women’s Day (IWD) will mark its 30th anniversary on March 8th, 2007. Founded in 1977 by the United Nations, this important day provides an opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made to advance women’s rights and assess the challenges that remain. It also encourages us to consider the steps we can take to bring about equality for women.

This year Canadians will celebrate International Women’s Week from March 4-10. The theme “Ending Violence Against Women: Action for Real Results,” focuses on gender-based violence.

According to a recent Statistics Canada report, conducted between 1999-2004, the number of women who experienced some form of violence at the hands of a current or previous spouse or common-law partner, was 653,000. At least sixty women die every year at the hands of a partner. Thousands of women and their families continue to live in fear and the devastating effects of this problem every day.

Most of the time immigrant women become victims of domestic violence. Coming from a male-dominated society, they don’t share their stories of abusive relationships. Some of them lack knowledge of Canadian law while others fear for their lives. So, they choose to remain silent.

However, no solution comes from silence. Domestic violence is a cancer of society. It paints a negative picture in the minds of children. It also disrupts the peace of the community and often leads to suicide.

As citizens, we each have the responsibility to end violence against women. We have to evaluate what we have done so far to stop the violence and promise to work harder in the future. Let’s increase our awareness of women’s issues by attending the March events. Let’s ask ourselves if we are part of the problem or the solution. Let’s renew our vow to end violence against our sisters. Then, we can start working to ensure the rights of our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.

For more information about IWD events, please go to this website: http://www.iwdtoronto.com/events.htm.

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