GRAN lights Ottawa City Hall for 16 Days of Activism

The Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) in the Ottawa/Gatineau region has organized activities to join the world in observing the UN’s UNITE Campaign: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. It runs from November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to December 10th (World Human Rights Day). The theme this year is UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls, and calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, media, and the UN system to join forces to address the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.
The launch for the 16 days was held on Monday, November 27th, at 11 a.m. in the Mayor’s office at Ottawa City Hall, where Mayor Sutcliffe read the City of Ottawa’s proclamation marking the 16 Days of Activism. GRAN co-ordinated the ceremony together with the Ottawa Coalition To End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) and its member organizations.
The Heritage Building at Ottawa City Hall will be lit in purple for the entire 16 days, with the support of Hydro Ottawa. The lighting signifies the need to “shine a light” on the issue of gender-based violence and the colour purple is used since it has long been associated with gender based violence campaigns. Purple ribbons are available for free from boxes that have been distributed to many restaurants and other businesses both along Elgin Street and in the Byward Market.
GRAN has undertaken food insecurity as a major focus this year and, since gender-based violence is more likely to occur when marginalized people experience hunger, attendees brought non-perishable food items to the event, all of which were donated to local food bank.

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