The annual 12 Days of action against Violence on Women is an opportunity to collectively reflect on the different forms of violence that affect women and to put forth concrete solutions to curb this scourge.

During these 12 days, activities are organized by women’s groups in all regions of Québec to raise public awareness of violence against women. It is an opportunity to call for firm commitments from the federal and provincial governments toward eradicating this persistent systemic violence, despite progress made toward women’s rights in Québec and Canada. While some women have achieved victories, others are still waiting for them.

Why an annual campaign for the elimination of violence against women?

On December 17, 1999, the UN proclaimed November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence toward Women, recalling that this violence constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development, and peace. This date commemorates the assassination of the Mirabal sisters, three Dominican political activists who were brutally executed in 1960 on the orders of the Head of State Rafael Trujillo. November 25 also marks the beginning of the internationally recognized 16 Days of Activism On Violence Against Women campaign, which ends on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Why 12 days of action in Quebec?

In Quebec, the awareness campaign runs from November 25 to December 6. This date corresponds with the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The Parliament established this day to commemorate the anniversary of the murder of 14 young women in 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. This act of gender violence shocked the population. Every year on December 6, the flags are half-mast on federal buildings. The public is also invited to wear a white ribbon, observe a minute of silence to commemorate the 14 victims of Polytechnique, and to make commitments to end violence against women.

The Comity