U of G Lowers Flags, Holds Events to Mark National Day of Remembrance

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The University of Guelph will mark Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence with events including a memorial gathering and the launch of a new research “observatory” on femicide.

A memorial gathering to be held Wednesday in the Thornbrough Building atrium will honour the 14 female engineering students who were killed at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal on Dec. 6, 1989. The event will begin at 1:45 p.m.

Campus flags will be at half-mast Wednesday in memory of the 14 women, and the University Centre will host an all-day vigil display.

The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability will be officially launched today to mark the day of remembrance and action. The first-of-its kind initiative, headed by U of G sociology professor Myrna Dawson, will track cases of women killed by men to understand the causes and consequences of femicide. Read more

The project was unveiled to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence on Nov. 25, which is the UN’s International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. The UN has named femicide as the most significant form of violence against women worldwide.

Following the announcement of the observatory’s establishment, Dawson, director of U of G’s Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, received a congratulatory letter from the United Nations.

Dubravka Šimonovic, the UN’s special rapporteur on violence against women and its causes and consequences, said she was “delighted to include the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability among the worldwide best practices of femicide observatory.”