Dec. 6 memorial marks 20 years of women’s studies at Brock

The Centre for Women’s Studies at Brock will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Monday, which is also the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The centre was established in memory of 14 female engineering students who were killed at École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989.

A memorial service to mark the tragedy will be held in Sankey Chamber at 5:30 p.m.

After the commemoration, Brock’s Centre for Women’s Studies will host a panel discussion about the creation of the centre and the importance of women’s studies in the aftermath of the events that took place in December 1989. The event is open to everyone.

Founders, past directors and other people instrumental in establishing the program will be on hand for Monday’s service and panel.

“The academic women behind the creation of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Brock were feminists who thought that a program examining questions of gender relations and patterns of gender and sexual oppression was needed,” said Christine Daigle, Philosophy professor and the centre’s current director.

“We need to critically examine such questions. We must unveil violence when and where it happens. We must speak up and refuse it. A critical analysis of such questions will strengthen our ‘no’ to violence.”

In 1989, female professors from Brock’s six faculties, as well as a number of librarians, met to organize the program. Chemistry professor Mary Frances Richardson chaired the organizing committee.

Brock’s Senate approved the new program in December 1990. The first students were admitted into the co-major program in September 1991.

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