Laurier runs virtual programming throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

Photo by Connor Johannes

Laurier has organized a series of online events to be held during the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The 16 Days of Activism is an international event that runs from Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to Dec. 10, World Human Rights Day.

Universities across Canada are participating, with the ultimate goal of raising awareness and helping combat gender-based violence.

Laurier’s Gendered and Sexual Violence Prevention and Support team have organized a variety of workshops and other online events centered around this topic.

This includes workshops open to staff, faculty and students on the 25 of Nov., and the 2, 3, 4 and 7 of December.

All of these workshops are being offered free of charge, although some require registration in advance. 

Other events include a panel on restorative justice and a takeover of Laurier’s official Instagram account on Dec. 6 that will discuss activism and ways to support survivors of gender-based and sexual violence, with contributors from both Laurier and the Waterloo community at large.

These events cover topics ranging from the diverse identities of those who face gender-based violence to perspectives on justice that emphasize healing and accountability.

This is not the first time Laurier has participated in the 16 Days of Activism virtually. Last year, events were held online as well due to the COVID pandemic, as they are this year.

While much has changed over the last few years, gender-based violence within Canadian society remains a pressing issue.

Laurier Brantford associate professor of criminology Andrew Welsh reflected on the role of social media in both improving understanding of the issue and facilitating harassment as well.

“The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have helped … what we would now say are forms of gender-based violence or sexual harassment is different from what it was a decade ago, and different in a good way,” Welsh said. 

In reference to the harassment of public figures over social media, he noted that there was still a long way to go.   

“I think people would like to believe we’ve progressed a lot, and we have in some ways, but all you have to do is go on social media to see that the problem is still there.”A link to the press release, containing a list of events and links to pre-register, is provided here.

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