Ending violence: The power of girls


Geneviève Bergeron, 21
Nathalie Croteau, 23
Anne-Marie Edward, 21
Maryse Laganière, 25
Anne-Marie Lemay, 22
Michèle Richard, 21
Annie Turcotte, 20
Hélène Colgan, 23
Barbara Daigneault, 22
Maud Haviernick, 29
Maryse Leclair, 23
Sonia Pelletier, 28
Annie St-Arneault, 23
Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31

These are the 14 young women who, on December 6, 1989, were killed at École Polytechnique in Montreal in what became known as the Montreal Massacre. Young women, pursuing their goals. Young women, hated simply for being women in engineering. Young women, killed for who they were, and who they wanted to be.

I was living in Montreal on that horrific day. It was a heart wrenching moment in time for me. That anyone would be murdered is awful, but especially a woman targeted just because she’s a woman.  And yet, the murder of these women was not an isolated act of violence.

Violence against girls and women is an all too common problem in Canada and around the world. It happens everywhere – in homes, in schools, in workplaces and in the community. Violence happens to our members, our colleagues, our family and friends. And we all have a responsibility to these girls and women, and to ourselves, to make it stop.

Because girls are key to the solution. While they’re not solely responsible for ending the violence, Guiding ensures that girls are well placed to shape their own futures and as the leaders of change within their communities and globally. I believe in the power of girls and am proud to be a member of Girl Guides of Canada where together, we celebrate the power of girls.

pamela_0561By Pamela Rice, Chief Commissioner, Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC). GGC’s 16 Days of Action campaign and Say No to Violence Challenge empower all girls and women in Guiding to speak out and take action

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