Women's Shelter hosting event to honour victims of Montreal Massacre

Women's Shelter hosting event to honour victims of Montreal Massacre

Heidi Rathjen, a former Ecole polytechnique student and witness to the massacre, said it is still important to remember what happened 28 years ago. Fourteen young women, almost all of them in their early twenties, shot dead by a gunman who blamed successful women for his own unhappy life.

Now known as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, December 6th is commemorated every year in Canada and is often marked by candlelit vigils and other events.

Family members and loved ones of the women slain will also be present, along with every Montrealer who wishes to attend. This day annually falls during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence; it starts with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, and ends with International Human Rights Day on December 10.

"I don't think I'm being naïve by saying I think there's potential for significant change here", says Senior, the president and executive director of the Canadian Women's Foundation.

Marylou memorial windsor violence against women
People lay white roses at the memorial to Marylou. The Chrysler Plant 6 worker was killed by her husband in 1998

Violence against women and girls is not just a women's issue. She calls the killings a "premeditated attack against women who were breaking barriers and pursuing their dreams in a field traditionally dominated by men".

A collection of shoes, each labelled with the name of a missing or murdered woman, will be on display at St. Andrews on the Square on Wednesday - "putting a name to those who can no longer speak for themselves".

"I think it's an award that stems from a frightful tragedy, and I think this is an excellent way to try to turn that around years later and make something positive of the fact that women are now recognized as making important contributions in engineering", she said. Nirmala Armstrong, herself once a victim of domestic violence, said. "Together we have a responsibility to foster a culture of respect and inclusion".

"It's a very fitting connection", Keefer said. "If they're in the workplace and if they are being harassed or any type of violence, that they will feel more confident to come forward - because all those women are being heard now and things are being done about it", she said.

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