Monday, March 10, 2014

Canada to fight sexual violence against women - in Libya

On 7th March Al Jazeera featured a story about violence against aboriginal women in Canada. The article points out that the Native Women's Association of Canada has documented more than 600 cases of murdered or missing aboriginal women up until 2010, whereafter the Conservative government stopped funding their database.

The article also mentions that calls for a public inquiry into the matter have been routinely rejected by that same Conservative government.

On the same day the Hon. Lynne Yelich, Minister in that Conservative government, released a statement at the Department of Foreign Affairs website, which included the following;

Canada commends the Government of Libya’s recent decree to recognize and compensate victims of sexual violence perpetrated during and following the revolution. We hope that this decree is swiftly entered into law and implemented.
“Sexual violence is a vicious attack on human dignity. It has a debilitating effect on the victims, their families and their communities, and undermines Libya’s transition to democracy and security. Canada is actively supporting efforts to strengthen local leadership to defend women’s rights and combat sexual violence in Libya.
“Canada stands by the Libyan people as they strive toward a future founded on freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

As admirable as it may be to advocate for Libyan women, could not the government of Canada also stand by the First Nations women of Canada as they strive toward a future free of sexual violence?

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