The Highway of Tears and violence against women will be in the spotlight on Friday as Kamloops recognizes International Women’s Day.
The Kamloops and District Labour Council is once again commemorating the day with a midday soup kitchen, hot meals and care packages for those in need at the United Steelworkers hall on Vernon Avenue in North Kamloops.
The council represents roughly 10,000 unionized workers from Lillooet to Chase and from Merritt to Blue River.
It holds the event in conjunction with International Women’s Day every year to raise awareness of all forms of discrimination against women all over the world, said council president Peter Kerek.
“It’s a truly international event and it needs to be because there’s still much more that needs to be done in countries like India and South Africa where rates of violence against women are simply unfathomable,” said Kerek.
Kerek also pointed to a recent report from an international non-governmental organization, Human Rights Watch, as evidence of “serious concerns” about the protection of aboriginal women who are disappearing and falling victim to violent crimes including murder.
“I guarantee that if this were a case of just a few politicians disappearing from the Ottawa valley there would be armed guards on every block of every city in Canada, parliaments and legislatures would close, the regular business of the country would come to a stand-still until the culprits were caught,” he said.
“But it’s hard for some governments to pay attention to the quietest of constituents who wield little political power and even less financial clout.”
The soup kitchen’s volunteer council members will serve meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with catering provided by Coun. Donovan Cavers.