December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women who were engineering students at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. Their killer was a violent misogynist as is evidenced in his ranting.
We must never forget. They died because they were women.
Every year I make a social media post of remembrance, but for some this year it is seemingly being censored. Maybe there is a word or phrase that the bots don't like? So I have decided to share my thoughts, remembrance, anger and grief here in my blog.
I am adding the name and face of Giulia Cecchettin to the list of women.
Giulia was a 22 year old Università di Padova engineering student and artist who was murdered by an obsessive ex-boyfriend on November 11th of this year. She had been planning her graduation party when she was attacked, kidnapped and killed. Her killer is a fellow engineering student and he was reportedly angry that she was graduating ahead of him. Her kidnapping and murder has been front page news here in Italy for weeks now. And I see the parallel of the crimes committed against the female engineering students in Montreal and Giulia despite being separated by over three decades. Giulia Cecchettin was laid to rest by her family yesterday with over 10,000 supporters in attendance. Her father and sister eloquently spoke out for change in the wake of this horrific tragedy.
Gender-based violence must be stopped. Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation. In over thirty years nothing has really changed despite new laws that are not fully enforced. Every day women all over our world are killed because they are women, mostly by their intimate partners or ex-partners and other men who are close to them.
Giulia was the 84th victim of femicide in my adopted home this year.
She was not the last.