December 6 marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women to commemorate the anniversary of the 14 women who were killed at Montreal’s École Polytechnique on this day in 1989.
It’s been 31 years since Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz were murdered because they were women who dared to study engineering.
The Montreal massacre wasn’t just an attack on these women, it was an attack on feminism, on women taking up space in the workplace and on school campuses where men traditionally ruled. This put an uncomfortable yet necessary lens on violence against women in our country.
It also forced us to look at the sexism and misogyny that is ingrained in all aspects of our society – and asked us to do better, to be better.