As a feminist organization, the FIQ made it its mission to address issues that women face within its organization. Like any type of violence, workplace violence is influenced by gender socialization and sexist stereotypes. The Women’s Network activists met on October 24 and 25 to discuss workplace violence from a feminist perspective. This type of violence tends to manifest between people who are connected through work, like managers and our members. It may also arise between two colleagues when their working conditions aren’t optimal due to a work overload, network restructuring, compulsory overtime, which can upset the family-work-study balance, etc. The FIQ regularly speaks out against this type of situation. The conferences, workshops and plenary meetings held at this Network gave the activists an opportunity get up to speed on matters and gather tools.
“Unfortunately we have to address this difficult topic at the same time as the #metoo outpourings. It’s not always easy to talk about it but we need to equip ourselves with the necessary tools to break the silence,” said Linda Lapointe, Political Officer for the Status of Women Sector, in her opening word. She also said that people need to volunteer to speak up.
Workplace violence has been a problem for a long time. Indeed, at the first FIIQ convention 30 years ago, healthcare professionals expressed their concern over the need to address workplace violence. An extensive investigation even showed that nearly 90% of our members had first-hand experiences with violence during their career.
“Whether verbal, psychological, physical or sexual, all violence is unacceptable. By mobilizing collectively, we give ourselves the power to protest and we put an incalculable amount of meaning and strength behind our collective NO,” concluded Linda Lapointe.