Red roses

The University of Waterloo will mark the 27th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre at a vigil to honour the 14 women killed during the 1989 tragedy.

Fourteen women, many of them young engineering students, were killed at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal by a man who claimed that feminism was ruining his life. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women marks the anniversary of the tragedy every December 6th and invites Canadians to reflect on ways to end violence against women.

“We can use this occasion of remembrance to renew our own commitment to issues related to gender equity,” says Mary Wells, Waterloo Engineering’s associate dean, outreach. “The tragedy hit me profoundly because it happened in my hometown and these young women were my contemporaries. Many of them would be my age today, had they lived.”

“We lost some of our future colleagues,” added Wells. “We lost all of the insight, creativity and passion these women would have brought to our profession.”

Register to attend the Dec. 6 vigil

The vigil will take place on December 6 at 10:30 am in the Sedra Student Design Centre on the ground floor of the Engineering 5 building on campus. Community members, faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend and can register here.

Diana Parry, Waterloo’s Special Advisor to the President on Women’s and Gender Issues, says one in three women globally face violence in their daily lives. “Gendered violence remains a pressing social issue for many Canadians and others around the world,” says Parry. “It warrants continued attention and efforts to address its terrible impacts.”

“December 6 serves as an important day to reflect and take action to end gender-based violence,” said Parry.

In May 2015, President Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor, accepted an invitation from the UN Women’s HeForShe initiative for the University of Waterloo to participate in the IMPACT 10x10x10 framework alongside governments, leading universities, and global businesses. As part of this framework, the University has committed to boosting female student participation in STEM experiences and academic careers to build the pipeline of future female leaders in traditionally male-dominated disciplines.