Only by Working Together Will We Address Violence Against Women: Hughes

Elliot Lake – The scourge of domestic violence must become a priority for everyone, is the message that Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP, Carol Hughes is sharing this International Women’s Day.   Hughes says the Canadian theme this year, Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence against Women, shows that despite increased awareness, there is still work to do.

“I know there are a lot of men who are part of the solution,” said Hughes.  “It is important for those individuals to make their voices part of the conversation on this important issue.”

Hughes was reminiscent of the work the late Jack Layton did to promote the voices of women and challenge the attitudes of individuals who thought those efforts weren’t that important.  She noted that Jack was on the ground floor of the White Ribbon Campaign to end violence against women and also gave women prominent and non-traditional roles in his caucus.

“If you consider that he promoted women to roles like Finance Critic for Canada’s Official Opposition, you can see that he walked the walk,” said Hughes.  “We need more people who are willing to challenge traditional roles and find ways to allow everyone to contribute. I am happy to say that Tom Mulcair shares that opinion and has kept women in important roles.”

Hughes noted that the Canadian theme for this year’s celebration is similar to the international theme promoted by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women:  Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.  The MP believes this year’s theme is appropriate.

“We saw some horrific examples in overseas news stories this year,” said Hughes.  “Although we are changing the way Canadians think about the rights of women and their role in society, we have too many gruesome reminders that there is a lot of work to do in other parts of the world.”

Hughes invited everyone to mark International Women's Day and International Women's Week 2013 (Sunday, March 3 to Saturday, March 9), by reflecting on the impacts of violence against women and commit to helping end it.

“Women have as much to contribute as anyone else,” said Hughes. “When we recognize and embrace that we are only going to be stronger and better off.”