Friday, March 9

It’s tragic that women must still seek protection

Ending Violence Against Women: Action for Real Results is Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day 2007. It provides an opportunity to focus our collective attention on violence against women and girls in Canadian society and to consider concrete measures to end this social problem. We simply must take action to end violence so that women and girls are able to participate fully in Canadian society.

To that end, in April 2005, the presidents of major labour organizations in Nova Scotia decided to meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of common concern to workers. Out of those meetings, the Coalition Against Workplace Violence (CAWV) was developed; it is now composed of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU), Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU), Nova Scotia Nurses Union (NSNU) and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). At the time the CAWV was formed, the four leaders of these unions were women.

The increasing problem of violence on the job – physical, verbal and emotional – experienced by public-sector workers represented by all four unions quickly moved to the top of our agenda. Although workplace violence is an issue for all workers, it’s also very much a women’s issue (a high percentage of our memberships are female).

LINK: This piece was submitted by the Coalition Against Workplace Violence ( Danny Cavanaugh, president of CUPE; Mary-Lou Donnelly, president of NSTU; Janet Hazelton, president of NSNU; and Joan Jessome, president of NSGEU.

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