December 6th marks The École Polytechnique massacre, also known as the Montreal massacre, an antifeminist mass shooting that occurred in 1989, where fourteen women were murdered. It also marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The City of Brampton continues to stand at the forefront of action to end violence against women. Today at Council, Councillor Santos elevated this action further in her motion seconded by Councillor Brar, to extend Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) training to all staff and committees.
SAY THEIR NAMES
GBA+ is an analytical tool used to support the development of responsive and inclusive policies, programs, and other initiatives. It is a process for understanding who is impacted by any particular issue or opportunity being addressed; identifying how an initiative could be tailored to meet diverse needs of the people most impacted; and anticipating and mitigating any barriers. GBA+ is an intersectional analysis that goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences to consider other factors, such as age, disability, education, ethnicity, economic status, geography, language, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
GBA+ is an example of gender-equality training, which as suggested by the United Nations, can affect individual and collective transformation towards gender equality through consciousness raising, empowering learning, knowledge building, and skill development.
“We will never achieve gender equality until we end gender-based violence. Education is a fundamental action we can all take to end violence against women. Providing GBA+ training to all staff, committees and boards will elevate our collective understanding of the day-to-day barriers to equality and enablers of gender-based violence,” Santos says. “I have personally completed the course and it is eye-opening. I am thankful to my colleagues for supporting the motion and grateful to everyone at the City of Brampton who complete GBA+ Analysis Training.”
The City of Brampton has long demonstrated commitment, leadership, and courage in addressing gender-based violence through both upstream and downstream approaches. Actions have been concentrated on awareness, empowerment, and advocacy, reflecting a holistic commitment to combating gender-based violence at every level.
In 2019, Brampton City Council took a crucial step by passing a motion directing city staff to collaborate with and support existing programs at the Region of Peel dedicated to aiding those affected by domestic violence. This initiative also emphasized the importance of public awareness and advocacy regarding violence against women.
Since 2020, city staff has consistently supported and participated in initiatives at the Region of Peel Family Violence Action Table. This involvement extends to active support for the annual Peel Violence Against Women awareness campaign, known as the #BreakTheSilence Campaign, developed in collaboration between the Region of Peel and community partners, including the City of Brampton.
The #BreakTheSilence Campaign, launched annually since 2020, now in its fourth annual campaign, targets three key audiences: survivors, bystanders, and the general public. Flyers and advertisements for the campaign are translated into the top five languages in the Region of Peel. The #BreakTheSilence Campaign is currently in its fourth annual campaign, launched this year on November 24th to again mark the beginning of the 16 days of activism to end violence against women.
In 2023, Brampton City Council unanimously declared gender-based violence an epidemic in Brampton, advocating for increased funding and support for organizations including Peel Police’s Intimate Partner Violence Unit and specialized mobilization team, in providing essential resources and safe spaces for those seeking to escape violent relationships. This year also witnessed the creation of Brampton’s employee Women Empowerment Network, a resource group focused on empowering women into leadership roles and providing mentorship and support to navigate workplace challenges.
Looking ahead, Brampton anticipates several upstream initiatives, including dedicated breastfeeding spaces and parking spaces for parents at City facilities, the establishment of the Women’s Advisory Committee, GBA+ training for all corporate employees, committees and boards, and sustained advocacy efforts, especially concerning financial supports for transitional housing.
As Brampton stands united to end gender-based violence, these comprehensive initiatives underscore the city’s commitment to creating a future where safety, equity, and inclusion are not just ideals but lived realities for all residents. The motion brought forward by Councillor Santos is a pivotal step towards fostering a community where the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence are not just an annual campaign but a perpetual commitment to change.