Violence against women affects us all. Minister of Health Margaret MacDiarmid issued the following statement in recognition of International Women's Day on March 8, 2013:
"On behalf of all British Columbians, I would like to take the occasion of International Women's Day to recognize Canada's theme of Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence against Women. Men and women have important roles in making our province and country safe for everyone.
"British Columbians have to speak up and make their voices heard. By discussing this issue and advocating for women, we can work towards equality. A survey for the White Ribbon Campaign-the world's largest movement of men working to end violence against women-found 75 per cent of men felt it was very important to speak out on violence against women, and 66 per cent felt they could be doing more.
"As part of our Families First Agenda, we have developed policies that ensure families are protected and feel safe. When families face violence, they lose the sense of community that helps people thrive together. Our Provincial Office of Domestic Violence, under the Ministry of Children and Family Development, is creating a comprehensive three-year provincial plan with government and community partners to address domestic violence in British Columbia.
"Violence against women is not just a women's issue. It is everyone's responsibility and collectively, we can find a solution.
"British Columbians can join all Canadians to reflect on how to stop violence against women and take part with family and friends in events happening in their community today. We thank those who promote and protect the rights of women. Together, we can stop violence against women."
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)