The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW-ICREF) stands together with other activists and allies to call to end all systemic racism in Canada. White supremacy and racism are ever-present, perpetuated and deeply entrenched in Canada’s social fabric and throughout all its institutions and structures, from policing, to the justice system, to health care and education. Misogynist, racist colonialism is the very foundation on which this country was built, and it is on these footings that Canada continues to operate.
Indigenous, Black and racialized women experience the overlapping and intersecting oppression of racism and misogyny and further face dehumanization, invisibilizationi, extremely high levels of violence and harassmentii, and economic exploitationiii. The impacts are extensive and profoundly destructive.
Every facet of Canadian society needs to be actively examined—not just passively acknowledged—to address the insidious and overt manifestations of misogynist racism. We join in solidarity with anti-racism organizations and activists in their calls for an end to police violence. We support the solutions proposed by the movement, including reallocating financial resources from policing, and more, to redistributing wealth and adequately funding other public services and social programs. We also recognize that all institutions and systems, including health care, social work, child welfare, to name a few, need to be critically examined and recreated in order to effectively eliminate racism and misogyny. A transfer of financial resources in itself is not enough.
CRIAW-ICREF recognizes that systemic racism is also present in progressive movements. Beyond overt racism and discrimination that racialized women are more likely to face, white supremacy is perpetuated in feminist and other movements through the exclusion and silencing of racialized women’s voices, limiting decision making power and access to financial resources. CRIAW-ICREF recognizes that anti-racism work is not just a one-time exercise and requires more than individuals in an institution, organization or movement, to simply not be racist, but rather requires sustained engagement in widespread social change. CRIAW-ICREF is committed to undertaking this work not just in our intersectional research but by continuing to actively operationalize anti-racism within our organization within its operations, policies, advocacy, hiring practices, board representation and mandate.
To truly eliminate and dismantle the white supremacist, patriarchal, colonial systems in Canada, supporting and amplifying the knowledges and expertise of Indigenous, Black and racialized women is fundamental. CRIAW-ICREF calls on all levels of government in Canada to ensure that Indigenous, Black and racialized women are meaningfully able to participate in all work to this end through adequate financial support to their organizations and to women leaders in those communities.
i Canadian Beijing+25 Network (2019). Black Women and Girls. In Unfinished Business: A Parallel Report on Canada’s Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (p. 29-39). Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. https://www.criaw-icref.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/098b267e0dc1410639632e30869054c0.pdf
ii Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) (2020). The Impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous Women and Gender-Diverse People in Canada. Audited by Nanos Research. https://www.nwac.ca/browse/; Angela Marie MacDougall (2020). Black Women in Canada and the Black Women’s Program at BWSS. Battered Women Support Services. https://www.bwss.org/black-women-in-canada/
iii South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO) (2018). Labour Policy Reform Recommendations. With COSTI Immigrant Services. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UPKGG0GuyZ3_nJ5Dzk0ZbgYjPA_zCiQJ/view; Ontario Equal Pay Coalition (2014). CLOSING ONTARIO’S GENDER PAY GAP – FACTS BY THE NUMBERS. http://equalpaycoalition.org/publications/gender-pay-gap-facts-by-the-number/