BURNABY—CUPE members and staff were among the full-house crowd today for this year’s labour breakfast to commemorate the National Day of Action on Violence Against Women.
The annual event, sponsored by the BC Federation of Labour, honours victims of violence against women while calling for action to prevent violence and abuse. Proceeds from this year’s breakfast, hosted by Hospital Employees’ Union financial secretary Donisa Bernardo, went to Charlford House, a 15-bed supportive recovery house for women located in Burnaby.
Guest speakers were Anastasia Gaisenok of the Justice Education Society of B.C. and Vancouver-Kensington NDP MLA Mable Elmore. Gaisenok spoke of the challenges of educating today’s younger generation of women about the importance of the women’s liberation movement, and its ongoing role in the fight against abusive misogyny. Elmore decried BC Liberal cuts to women’s services that have only made B.C. women more vulnerable.
Breakfast attendees were all encouraged to become “change makers” by making a point of condemning sexist jokes and intervening at the first sign of abuse. More urgently, they were asked to lobby their MP to ensure that the Federal Government maintains the long-gun registry.