In honour of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which kicks off today, and our National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, YWCA Canada is urging all of us to call out things we see that are #NOTokay because they promote violence against women.
#NOTokay (or #PAScorrect for Francophones) is a hashtag tool that can be used to point out anything from a misogynist comment from a public figure to the everyday sexism we encounter in ads, media, on the street, and elsewhere in our lives.
At a media conference on Parliament Hill this morning, YWCA representatives and spokespeople from partner organizations talked about why this campaign is so necessary.
“Women and girls face brutal violence in our country,” says YWCA Canada CEO Paulette Senior. “For months we’ve heard one horrific story after another on the news. Twenty-five years ago fourteen women were murdered in Montreal for being women. Now, on average, a woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner every week. We hear women of courage speaking out every day about the violence in their lives. Every one of us needs to listen and act. When you think something is not okay, don’t let it ride. Call it out. Say it’s not okay.”
“Children and youth in school today weren’t born when the Montreal Massacre happened in 1989, but 25 years later they are surrounded by images, videos, music lyrics and social media that foster a culture of violence against women and girls,” says Canadian Teachers’ Federation President, Dianne Woloschuk. “Violence prevention begins with young people learning what’s healthy and what’s not. YWCA Canada’s new campaign, #NOTokay, provides accessible tools. When kids feel something is upsetting or demeaning, they have a simple way to say it’s not okay.”
Visit www.notokay.ca to see what others are calling out and add your voice.