Remember the women

From Sarah Ghabrial at rabble:

This week marks December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The issue became highlighted nearly 20 years ago, when a deranged anti-feminist walked into the École Polytechnique in Montreal and selected and then shot down 14 young women. In memory of these young women, December 6 and the days preceding it remain a time to reflect on gender-based violence in Canada and to consider ways to prevent it.

Violence against women is a problem so immense that it is almost lost (and too often forgotten) for its pervasiveness. No wonder, since solutions are still so narrowly devised. In the wake of the Montreal Massacre, any progress made in confronting gender-based violence is still blunted by failures to recognize the different kinds of systemic oppression, especially racism and poverty, that force and keep women in situations of increased exposure to violence.

In Canada, there exists a strange paradox: a tendency to view women of colour and ‘immigrant’ women – especially Muslim women – as particularly weak and vulnerable, due to the supposedly more intrinsic patriarchy of ‘their’ cultures; and a concurrent, stubborn unwillingness in our legal, emergency response and, most importantly, education systems to put forward solutions that reach out to women in these positions, rather than further marginalize them.

Read the whole thing here

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