November 29, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission
The Chief Commissioner of Canadian Human Rights Commission, Marie-Claude Landry, issues the following statement:
“I am very troubled by the results of the 2016 Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. It sheds light on statistics related to the behavior of military personnel in Canada. One in three Regular Force members saw, heard or experienced discriminatory gestures while one in four women has been a victim of sexual assault since joining the forces. The numbers, while shocking, are worse when you consider that many people are not surprised by the result.
“For many years, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has worked with military leadership to promote an environment of respect within its operations. Yet I must urge leadership, once again, to take more stringent corrective action and put an end to its lingering culture of misogyny, sexism and harassment.
“It is no secret that “Operation Honour” is known within the ranks as “hop on her.” The deeply ingrained culture of misogyny and sexism is a blatant and disgraceful contradiction of the values the Canadian Forces are sworn to protect.
“Following a Auditor General report highlighting the profound challenges and lack of a recruitment plan in recruiting women into the Canadian Forces, it is all the more important to take this seriously. Canada will continue to have difficulty in recruiting and retaining women in its military if it is unable to create an environment where they can be valued and respected.
“Canada’s military has a longstanding mission to defend and protect Canadians. It must apply the same rigorous standards of honor within its own ranks. Anything less undermines our country’s reputation for upholding human rights wherever we serve.”
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