Tag Archives: Violence Against Women

  • 2011 Women's World Conference

    From July 3-7, UTP participated in the book fair of the 2011 Women's World conference in Ottawa. There was a constant buzz throughout the conference as 2,000 participants from 92 countries took part in Canada's first hosting of the conference. Held every three years since 1981, the conference has travelled to eleven countries, covering six continents. This year's theme, "Inclusions, Exclusions, Seclusions: Living in a Globalized World," brought together union women, teachers, activists, researchers, grassroots organizers, and of course, a few men. Events were held in English, French, and Spanish, and when possible, other languages. The conference also encouraged women from under-resourced communities to apply to the Solidarity Fund, which financially assisted women with travel expenses and other costs associated with attending the conference.

    Each day started with a group plenary session held at the new Ottawa Convention Centre.  A diverse panel of four to five speakers introduced themselves in relation to each day’s theme. Breaking Cycles, Breaking Ceilings, Breaking Barriers, and Breaking Ground were the topics, and discussion spilled over into the smaller In Focus sessions held throughout the day. Tuesday’s plenary session, Breaking Ceilings, concluded with a solidarity march to Parliament Hill in honour of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

    The book fair was held on the main floor of the Desmarais building on the University of Ottawa campus. Many of the In Focus sessions were also held in the building, and the UTP booth was busy each day, selling titles as different as Violence Against Women, Defamiliarizing the Aboriginal, and Pop Culture. It was a conference of sharing stories and experiences, which translated to an interest in others' experiences and research and lots of interest in UTP publications.

    The conference website continues to be updated with new materials, including podcasts, pictures, and video (including links to the conference YouTube channel. Sessions and plenaries are available for viewing, as well as blog posts, testimonies, and a lot of food for thought.

  • Violence Against Women

    In recognition of International Women's Day, UTP asked award-winning author Walter S. DeKeseredy to contribute the following words on his recent book, Violence Against Women: Myths, Facts, Controversies.

    The 100th anniversary of International Women's Day is a time for celebration. Still, as we reflect on our sisters' many past and present achievements, we must never forget that violence against women continues to be a widespread social problem. For example, at least 60 women are killed each year in Canada by their current or former male partners and every six days a woman in this country dies from domestic violence. Each year, nearly 25 percent of Canadian female post-secondary school students experience some type of sexual assault and at least 11 percent of women in marital/cohabiting relationships are physically assaulted by their male partners. Sadly, while male-to-female violence is endemic, resources aimed at reducing this harm are consistently being cut. Note, too, that an enormous audience exists for people who minimize the alarming rates of woman abuse in private and public places and who erroneously assert that women are as violent as men.

    My new book, Violence Against Women: Myths, Facts, Controversies, directly responds to claims that violence against women is a relatively minor problem and that intimate violence is gender-neutral. It also challenges the assertion that most men who abuse their current or former female partners are "sick" or mentally ill. If only a handful of men in Canada hit, beat, raped, and killed women, it would be easy to accept non-sociological accounts of their behaviour. However, as I point out, given that male-to-female violence is deeply entrenched in our society, it is essential to examine the broader structural, cultural, and political forces that allow for so many women to be victimized. Indeed, Canada would be much healthier if all of its citizens acknowledged that violence against women is a serious problem, and one that affects us all.

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