We launched the Observatory and this website on December 6, 2017, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women to commemorate the femicides that ended the lives of 14 women on December 6, 1989. It was an act of gender-based violence that should have served as a wake-up call for our country. However, to this day, women and girls continue to be killed in Canada – about one every other day.
While there have been some declines in femicide for certain groups of women, we have not seen the transformation necessary to meaningfully reduce femicide in this country. More importantly, particularly marginalized women, such as Indigenous women and girls, have not experienced these gains and continue to face unacceptably high risks of femicide.
The goal of the Observatory is to bring a national and visible focus on social and state responses to femicide in Canada by:
- Counting and tracking femicide cases as they occur in Canada;
- Identifying legislation, policies and practices in social and state responses to femicide that perpetuate and maintain social structures and gender inequalities that are conducive to, or help facilitate, the perpetration of femicide;
- Documenting social and state responses to femicide that may further increase the vulnerability and marginalization of some groups of girls and women due to varying social identities (e.g. indigeneity, race/ethnicity, culture, age, LGBTQ2, religion, disability, poverty, geography and so on);
- Highlighting and examining the attitudes, stereotypes and biases that support the varying social and state responses documented;
- Facilitating the exchange of information, reliable data, and current knowledge that can advance legislative, policy and program change on issues related to the prevention of femicide in Canada at the local, regional, provincial/territorial and/or national levels;
- Monitoring emerging issues and trends as they relate to femicide and violence against women more generally;
- Providing user-friendly and reliable information, resources and research on femicide;
- Acting as a knowledge broker for researchers, professionals, policy-makers, media and the public.
The website is being launched at the inception of this work to engage the community in our efforts to prevent femicide by helping us build knowledge about the killing of our women and girls. Given this is a new initiative, knowledge is still being generated for various components of the website. As information becomes available, the website will be regularly updated so we encourage first visitors to explore the website and to check back with us on an ongoing basis.
See letter of recognition from the
United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner