Is the Ontario Government apathetic to our concerns about violence against women of colour? On Monday Aqsa Parvez a sixteen year old girl was murdered. We just cannot dismiss this violent murder and say its just Muslim community internal politics. As a society the murder of a young woman affects all of us. We must not remain silent to violence against women of colour. Just because Aqsa Parvez was from a different culture does not mean we should be apathetic to the concerns of Muslim women. We are all human beings here. Doesn’t anyone care?
The media reports have focused on the private sphere of the Canadian Muslim community and have ignored the public sphere. Everyone is walking on egg shells. Everyone doesn’t want to appear as though we are offending the Muslim Canadian community. However, nobody can justify violence against women and say it is about “honoring” the family.
I have read numerous articles about apologists stating that “religion” was not a factor in Aqsa Parvez’s death. How can people just blatantly lie and say this? “Religion” may not have been the “only” factor in Aqsa Parvez’s death. However, “religion” is a convenient tool that misogynists utilize to control women. It is obvious to me that patriarchy and misogyny are the root issues here. Why are we so afraid to speak the truth?
My dear readers what are we going to about this? It is a vicious cycle we can all play the blame game. Religion cannot be used as an excuse to conceal male domination and misogyny. We live in a world that is racist, sexist, and anti woman. Male violence is pernicious, vile, abhorrent, and totally unacceptable. However, the question has to be asked where was the social safety net? Aqsa’s high school knew she was having problems at home and didn’t do enough to help her.
Where are the services the programs for women of colour that are victims of domestic violence? The province of Ontario is a rich province we cannot cry poverty. What are we going to do about this? Another young woman’s life is gone and a family is shattered. Why are we silent about the concerns of women of colour? Domestic violence is still a taboo in society we just don’t want to talk about it. Women of colour are even more marginalized then white women due to race and gender. Are domestic violence shelters equipped to deal with the racial, cultural, social, religious, political issues women of colour encounter? You have to wonder? I understand that domestic violence is a serious issue and that money isn’t the solution. However, the more funds available could of helped Aqsa Parvez.
I think the Ontario government should be doing more to reach out to women of colour that are in distress. If you want to make your voices heard contact Premier Dalton McGuinty. You can contact Premier McGuinty either by e-mail, fax, telephone, or write a letter. If people speak up the government must listen. We must shatter the silence about domestic violence in society. If we are united against misogyny and male domination we can make the world a better place.
Dalton McGuinty Main Legislative Building, Room 281,
Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M7A 1A1
Fax: 416- 325-3745