Be a voice for the voiceless

Violence against women is an issue that cannot wait.

Recently I read a letter about violence against immigrant women in Canada. There are so many cultures that fall prey to such actions, but Indo-Canadian women appear to be the biggest victims.

I am so sick and tired of the preponderance of violence against women in the Indo-Canadian community, whether they are immigrants or Canadian-born. There have been countless incidents where women have lost their lives.

Every time I feel that violence against women is decreasing, I hear another tragic, heart-breaking story. It’s become a cultural practice now, known as honour crimes.

The most common practices include son preference, female abortion, exchange of dowry, forced marriage, and honour-based violence.

This violence can manifest itself through physical, emotional, mental, or financial abuses that attempt to reduce the status of women within their household and societies. These cultural “practices” have no place in our current society.

In April 2013, Rona Ambrose, federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services and the minister responsible for the status of women, announced support for the Indo-Canadian Women’s Association to address the issue of violence against women and girls committed in the name of so-called “honour.”

There are resources available that are dedicated to ending violence against women such as the Indo-Canadian Women’s Association, West Coast LEAF, the Women’s Advisory Committee, and so many more. But it should start within us as well. We should be willing to create change and step up; to be a voice for the voiceless.

Violence against women is an issue that cannot wait. And we know that when we work to eradicate violence against women, we empower our greatest resource for development; mothers raising children, lawmakers in Parliament, chief executives, negotiators, teachers, doctors, policewomen, and more (re-stated from Secretary General of the United Nations).

Help stop this injustice because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

 

Navi Dosanjh, 16

Surrey

Surrey North Delta Leader

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