Toronto – February 28, 2017 – This March 8, UFCW Canada activists will stand united with labour and community organizations to celebrate and honour International Women’s Day and renew our pledge to press for full gender equality. The 2017 campaign theme is #BeBoldForChange. The message is to help forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world – and close the gender wage gap.
Women working full-time in Canada earn 30 percent on average less than their male peers do and are more likely to have incomes that put them below the poverty line. Women dominate low wage, precarious work. One in three women earns less than $15 per hour, compared to one in five men. The wage gap in Canada is stubborn. This indicator has hovered between 70 and 74 cents on the dollar since 1992.
Canada’s gender wage gap is now the fourth highest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Canada was ranked 35th by the World Economic Forum 2016 Global Gender Gap Report.
The gap only narrows when we look at unionized labour. Collective bargaining agreements are the most effective way to date, to secure decent wages and workplace protections. Union jobs also ensure gender parity in pay, treatment and a grievance/appeal process.
UFCW Canada has been on the forefront in both political action aimed at advancing the issue of gender parity through advocacy measures, and by also working diligently to improve the lives of working families through the collective bargaining process. Our national partnership with LEAF (Legal Education and Action Fund) has also strengthened our organizational support for equity driven justice.
On International Women’s Day, March 8, and throughout the year, let us stand united to end misogyny, celebrate women’s accomplishments, and support gender equity.
Paul R. Meinema
More things you can do on this year’s IWD: