Toronto – March 1, 2016 – International Women's Day is observed annually on March 8, to celebrate the historical achievements of women, and to renew our pledge to press for full gender equality.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Manitoba granting the right for women to vote – the first province to do so in Canada. A century later, we are still inspired by countless women pioneers like Nellie McClung who stood up for the right of women to vote.
The theme of this year’s International Women's Day is Pledge for Parity — a call to close the gender wage gap. According to statistics, if women in Canada had the same labour market opportunities as men, the total personal income of women would be $168 billion higher each year. In Ontario, for example, women in non-union workplaces make on average 74 cents for every dollar paid for similar work by their male counterparts. So a major action to address the gender wage gap would be addressing labour laws to make forming unions more accessible through card check certification, along with robust enforcement of labour law protections against employer reprisal.
UFCW Canada has been on the forefront in both political action aimed at advancing gender parity through advocacy measures, and by also working diligently to improve the lives of working families through the collective bargaining process.
This International Women's Day we can inspire others by being ambassadors for equality in our workplaces and communities. Supporting gender parity is about recognizing inequality when you see it and taking action to prevent it from happening to you or anyone else.
Find out more about local events organized for International Women's Day by visiting http://www.internationalwomensday.com. You can also learn more about the UFCW National Council Canada Women's Advisory Committee by visiting www.ufcw.ca/women.
Paul R. Meinema