Canada is now the first country to be named a national sex day, and the country is now second only to Mexico for the number of national sex days in the world.
Canada celebrated its first national sex week on Tuesday, the first of its kind, when it officially began the festivities.
According to the United Nations, more than 4.4 billion men, women, and children around the world have experienced some form of sexual violence during their lifetime, and in 2015, 1.2 billion people were survivors.
“Our nation has become a world leader in terms of addressing sexual violence and protecting the health and well-being of all women and girls,” said Julie Bouchard, executive director of the Canadian International Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, a think tank that supports the international community in tackling sexual violence.
“National sex days are a great way to celebrate a national tradition and a day to unite, and to show that there are others in Canada and around the globe who also support this kind of work.”
Bouchard said it was also a way to honor those who have fought to end violence against women in the armed forces, but also to highlight how Canada is “one of the only places on earth that does not have a sex-segregated military.”
The official announcement of the first national day was made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his State of the Union Address, which was delivered to a joint session of Parliament, the House of Commons, and Canada’s Senate.
It was also streamed live on the government’s official website.
“We’re celebrating today because of our shared commitment to our women, our men, and our families.
We are celebrating because we are a country that has made a great deal of progress on the front lines of sexual and gender violence, and we are proud of that progress,” Trudeau said at the time.”
And today, we are celebrating the women who have made it possible for this progress to take place.”
In his speech, Trudeau emphasized the importance of bringing all Canadians together to support a national approach to ending sexual violence, including the efforts of the Trudeau government to increase the number and diversity of Canadian Forces members serving overseas.
According the United States Department of State, sexual assault is the most common form of violence against girls in the military.
In the 2016 National Survey of Military Personnel, one in three female service members reported being victims of sexual assault, and one in four women said they experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
According to a 2017 study from the University of Maryland, more women than men have been sexually assaulted in the United Kingdom, and a 2015 study from Rutgers University found that one in five women reported being sexually assaulted while in college.
According a 2016 study from U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia have the highest rates of violence based on gender and sexual orientation, and according to a 2016 report by the Global Commission on Ending Violence against Women, one-third of women and one-fifth of men have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence in their lifetimes.
The National Day of Sex Violence is an initiative that has been endorsed by the International Criminal Court (ICC), a treaty-based international criminal court, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nation’s International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the United African Development Community (UADC).