Empowering girls and young women, promoting equality for all women and confronting stereotypes and biases about violence against women can help prevent femicide.
Femicide is generally defined as the killing of one or more females, primarily by males, because they are female. It represents the extreme end of violence and discrimination against women and girls.
A key contributor to femicide and violence against women is gender inequality.
Femicide is increasingly recognized as a global, widespread and persistent human rights’ violation. The way in which nation states or governments respond to femicide has become the focus of international attention because no country is free from this type of violence. Inadequate state responses and the ongoing impunity of many femicide perpetrators has been highlighted.
Canada is no exception.
The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability (CFOJA) was established in response to a call for action from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences for countries to document gender-related killings of women by collecting, analyzing and reviewing data on femicides with the aim of prevention.
- One woman or girl is killed every other day, on average, somewhere in our country.
- About once a week, a woman is killed by her male partner in Canada.
Various other forms of oppression such as racism and poverty increase women’s marginalization by society and, in turn, their vulnerability to femicide in various contexts.
Women’s experiences of oppression and inequality as well as attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes about violence against women and girls perpetuate and maintain practices that are harmful to women and girls.
The overarching goal of the CFOJA is to establish a visible and national focus on femicide in Canada. In addition to remembering and honouring Canadian women and girls who become victims of femicide, the CFOJA will examine social and legal responses to femicide, represented by media and the criminal justice system, respectively.
By confronting stereotypes and biases about violence against women and girls, including femicide, our goal is to empower girls and young women and promote all women’s equality overall.