Tuesday, 10 December 2013

‘More work to be done’ for women’s rights, says advocate

Source: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/More+work+done+women+rights+says+advocate/9262462/story.html

A Saskatoon event was held to honour the 14 women killed in Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique massacre, and also to educate people about the continuing forms of violence against women, organizers say.
“This is a time to come together to remember the women and to keep the conversation going,” Tara Kooy, co-chair of the Saskatoon Women’s Community Coalition, said.
On Dec. 6, 1989, a gunman shot 28 people at the Montreal school, killing 14 women.
He separated the students by gender and railed against “feminists” before opening fire. He then killed himself.
Kooy and others organize an annual vigil around the time of the massacre. This year’s event at St. Thomas More College on the University of Saskatchewan campus was scheduled to include a candlelight ceremony and panel discussion. Kooy said she often hears that things have improved since the massacre and that women should be happy with the progress.
“That’s not good enough. There’s a lot more work to be done,” she said.
Misogynistic commercials or other sexist representations in the media persist, as does the everyday domestic violence “that doesn’t make the newspaper,” she said.
Panellist and U of S sociology professor Liz Quinlan agreed people should remember the women in order to work for a better future. As for comparisons between 1989 and the present day, she said a woman is sexually assaulted somewhere in Canada, on average, every 17 minutes.
“If there’s been improvement, it’s not enough,” she said.
Organizers hope their message and the wider discussion will include men as well.
John Brodsky said he came Sunday with friend Stacey Campbell to support her, as she’s attended other similar events.
“But I also want to learn more about this, and be more aware of what’s going on,” he said.

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