Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Published on November 25, 2020

QUEEN'S PARK - Ontario NDP critic for Women's Issues Jill Andrew made the following statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:

"Today we acknowledge the ongoing global need to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls. 

In Canada, women and girls live at greater risk than men of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sex trafficking, with half of women experiencing at least one incident of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The statistics are additionally alarming for BIPOC women and disabled women.  

Intimate partner violence means thousands of women and children sleep in shelters because home simply isn't safe. Too many women and children are turned away from shelters due to overcapacity. Too many women are turned away simply because they do not have children.

Indigenous women are killed at six times the rate of non-Indigenous women. Trans women are gravely impacted by gender-based violence; transphobia and transmisogyny are on the rise and must be combatted. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis of violence against women and girls; reports show that domestic violence in particular has gotten worse. The pandemic has put a strain on health and social services, including shelters and helplines, and it is vital that all levels of government work together to ensure gaps in funding and essential services are filled.

In Ontario, shelters are packed and in dire need of more resources. The Ford government's recent budget provided no COVID-19 emergency funding for women escaping violence. 

As a legislator and as the Official Opposition Women's Issues critic, I commit to fighting for the rights and protections of women and girls daily. I will continue to push the government for additional supports for women and girls fleeing violence, and for the social supports needed to help them get back on their feet.

I will continue fighting for pay equity, paid sick days, real affordable housing, a provincial strategy for childcare and a real livable wage indexed to inflation. 

Not only must gender-based violence be declared a public health issue, but we must demand that the Ford government implement an intersectional gender equity strategy to address the many legislative cracks women and other marginalized groups in Ontario fall through. Without enshrining such protections in law, women cannot escape violence, and we cannot achieve economic liberation. 

During COVID-19 many have said, 'We are in this together.' But the truth is, if even one person is left behind, then our work is far from done."