How do we make police, governments, institutions, and one another care more about Aboriginal women, even if they do things that some among us may find unseemly, like drinking, or using drugs, or selling sex? This is precisely the question that those demanding an inquiry into missing and murdered women hope to see answered. An inquiry would help us identify the culprits and, hopefully, stem this epidemic. Not just the epidemic of murder, but the epidemic of seeing Indigenous women as worthless.
The "Action Plan" tabled in the House of Commons this week does nothing new to actually "Stop the Violence" against indigenous women and girls. Unfortunately the Prime Minister sees the overwhelmingly disproportionate number of indigenous women and girls facing violence, who go missing or who are murdered, as nothing more than crimes that should be investigated by the police after they happen.
The issue is staring our Prime Minister square in the face and a just and equitable solution is being proposed from all sides. And yet, Harper has waived off the need for a national inquiry, claiming that his government intends to treat Fontaine's death as a crime and not a "sociological phenomenon."
Indigenous peoples are calling for a national investigation that is centered on the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and they are also calling for immediate action. This nation is rich in monies directly derived from Indigenous lands and resources. Please don't try to tell us Canada just can't afford to do both. I would ask that people discussing these issues in the media not accept this dichotomy and not allow themselves to be divided into two camps: either in support of an inquiry or in support of 'action'. We can and should be engaging in both.
Prime Minister Harper's dismissal of the growing over-representation of Indigenous women and girls as victims of violence, homicide and persons who go missing as isolated crimes to be investigated by police illustrates just how out of touch he is. Moreover, the callous tone of his remarks yesterday, and failure to show any empathy for the families and loved ones of those who have been lost, shows a lack of compassion and leadership.
A national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women would not be a truth and reconciliation commission, in the main because the violence being brought to light needs to have ended before the truth can be spoken about it. That is most certainly not the case here. We are still losing our relatives. The violence is ongoing. Although I do not believe a national inquiry will stop this violence, I do respect the wishes of many of the family members who need this discussion to happen, for these stories to be told in order to help them heal.
On May 16, 2014, the RCMP released their National Operational Review on missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. Importantly, while this report gives us a good picture of the scope of the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women, it fails to address some important issues that could help Canada meaningfully address this violence. Here, I want to outline some of these failings as a means of provoking critical reflection on the RCMP's response and to contribute to ongoing discussion about how to end this violence.
How is it that we live in a culture where speaking out is still taboo? A culture where so many blame victims for their own abuse. Where women are afraid to report or seek assistance because they worry that they will not be believed? But today and every day, I choose not to be heartbroken.
What unites them is their strength, resilience and resourcefulness. They're all role models. They are blazing trails. I couldn't be prouder of them. So, the "baton" that I pass to all of you is their stories, their example.
Since females make up 52% of the population, can women pundits be so difficult to find? In a city oozing with competent women in practically every field of activity, it begs the question: how hard are TVO's The Agenda producers really trying?
For 20 years she directed the brand and took risks that others would have thought crazy. Still married to her sweetheart of 38 years, and living between NYC and France, she has created her ideal life -- after much hard work and prioritizing. So, how did she do it, and as women, how can we succeed like her?
This year's International Women's Day theme, "Equality for women is progress for all," spilled over into an impassioned conversation or all-out fight about male roles in feminism and women's health. In short, whether we like it or not, men hold considerable power over women and our sexual relationships.
Facebook's, Sheryl Sandberg, Yahoo!'s Marissa Mayer, Virginia Rometti, the CEO of IBM and others are proof that women can perform at the same level as male business leaders. Why are women still being treated differently in the workplace, and why do women oftentimes have lower salaries than men for similar jobs?
As we commemorate International Women's Day on March 8, it's an opportunity to take action and end the human trafficking that still exists today.
In March 2011, to mark International Women's Day, I wrote a blog post asking, "Can Technology Close the Gap for Girls and Women?" The ConnectEd progra...
As we gather with family and friends across our great country to celebrate the end of 2013, and as we look forward to a more hopeful 2014, let this be a New Year focused on Canadians, and not on political drama and scandal. And let parliamentarians work to ensure a brighter future for all women in Canada. Women's help and ideas are needed to see what Canada can do better to increase the participation of women in our economy, to ensure their health and safety and that of their children, and to build a better life for all Canadians.