Challenge sent on national day

North Okanagan residents are being urged to take steps to eliminate violence against women.

North Okanagan residents are being urged to take steps to eliminate violence against women.

The Vernon Women’s Centre Society issued a challenge Tuesday as part of Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

“We call upon our community not only to remember women lost to violence but also to take direct action to benefit women in our city,” said Emily Mayne, chairperson.

Among the ways residents can help, according to the society, is to support a non-profit agency or shelter working for women and children

“Educate yourself, your children, and others about violence against women and women’s issues,” said Mayne.

“Take time to challenge sexist jokes, degrading language, and stereotypes. Hire a woman.”

Mayne says there is also a need for advocacy.

“Call upon your municipal, provincial, and federal government representatives to work on women’s issues and to fund programming for women and children in our communities.”

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women commemorated the  murder of 14 women at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal Dec. 6, 1989.

The Vernon Women’s Centre Society is also supporting First Nations women as part of Vancouver’s Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

“Dec. 6 provides us with a day to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence,” said Mayne.

“It is also an opportunity for Canadians to find ways to work in our communities helping women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality. We all have a responsibility to work to end violence against women.”