November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and is the beginning of the 2015 campaign of 12 action days for the elimination of violence against women.
This day, internationally renowned, is supported by the United Nation, whose assembly proclaimed the day on December 17th 1999, emphasizing that violence against women is a major obstacle for equality, development and peace. The date of November 25th was selected in memory of the murder of the Mirabal sisters (Patria, Minerva and María Tereza), three Dominican political activists brutally executed in 1960 under the orders of dictator Rafael Trujillo.
The international campaign runs from November 25th to December 10th, the last day being the International day for Human Rights. However, in Quebec and Canada, we chose December 6th, our National day of remembrance and action on violence against women, to close the annual campaign. This anniversary date of the Montreal Ecole Polytechnique massacre of 14 young women in 1989 was selected by Parliament and flags fly at half-mast on that day every year on all federal buildings.
The annual campaign of 12 days opposing violence against women is an opportunity to collectively reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women and publicise concrete actions to eliminate this scourge. Since 2008, the Federation of Quebec women (Fédération des Femmes du Québec – FFQ) jointly coordinates this campaign with many women’s groups and victims of violence and discrimination support groups, including the Federation of women shelters (Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes – FMHF).
The theme of the 2015 edition of the campaign of 12 days of activism against gender-based violence is all about the fact that Women are always victims of violence because they are women! (http://12joursactioncontrelaviolence.ca/)
We need to remember that violence against women includes an array of violent behaviors, individual or collective, based on gender. Furthermore, systemic discrimination towards women has been recognized by international authorities. The United Nations’ declaration on the elimination of Violence Against Women asserts that : « violence against women reflects an historically unbalanced power relationship between men and women, which resulted with domination and discrimination practices by the first group at the expense of the second, and is one of the main social mechanism by which women are subordinated to men.» (UN. 1994. Déclaration sur l’élimination de la violence à l’égard des femmes, A/RES/48/104.- Traduction libre de la version française)
From December 2nd to 6th, will take place a unique exhibition and sale of artworks, called De la couleur contre la douleur (Color against suffering)and part of the sales will be donated to the Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes (FMHF). The organism regroups 36 women shelters for those dealing with multiple social issues. For its sixth edition, forty artists will present more than 600 paintings, all of the same format (10 in x 10 in) and sold at the unique price of 100$ (cash only) at the St-Lambert Multifunctional Center, situated at 81 avenue Hooper in Saint-Lambert.
This exhibition and sale is organised by the group Artistes de cœur, made up of selected artists, and of which I am part of, mainly coming from the Montérégie area but also from Montréal, Québec, Sherbrooke and Lanaudière areas, that wish, with this exhibition, to promote engaged art as well as support women and children that live with violence and find refuge in a women’s shelter.
The opening will take place on December 2nd from 6 pm to 9 pm. All are welcome !