On March 8th, International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and encourages everyone to take action against the remaining barriers that impede gender equality.
With the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms providing for gender equality, our country has made huge advances regarding gender equity in several areas, such as education and workforce participation, but many challenges remain: too few women undertake leadership roles and, women are still under-represented in politics.
"The culture of gender-based poverty and exploitation has to end, and it is our responsibility to educate a new generation, giving them the tools to achieve lasting equality," said Lee Riggs, National President of the TWU, USW National Local 1944. "I invite all our members to collaborate in playing a purposeful role in supporting gender parity."
A worldwide movement
Today, we experience an unprecedented global movement for women's rights, equality, safety and justice, thanks to the tireless work of new activists who are pivotal to this international push for gender equality.
"It is thanks to the passion and commitment of women activists that we could win more and more women's rights over the generations, and successfully bring positive change," said Betty Carrasco, National Vice-President of the TWU, USW National Local 1944, and Chair of the Women of Steel Committee. "Women will not stop marching until we have equity!"
Your union says NO to violence and harassment against women
The TWU, USW National Local 1944, alongside with the USW and the USW National Women's Committee, have taken a pledge to achieve gender equality and to take concerted action against sexual harassment in the workplace. In the coming months, it will provide local unions with more options to say 'NO' to Violence Against Women.
"According to the latest Global Gender Gap Report, it's going to take 217 years to achieve economic equality for the world's women, at the current rate of change," said Ken Neumann, National USW Director for Canada. "Why is that? The USW believes that full equality will never be achieved as long as women continue to face violence and harassment."
"For International Women's Day and for every day of the week: the United Steelworkers say 'NO' to Sexual Harassment and Violence against Women," said Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director.
How you can celebrate International Women's Day
Celebrating International Women's Day is a 365-day action plan, which aims at changing attitudes and behaviours. It implies challenging the sexism and discrimination from which gender inequality thrives; it requires recognizing that the gender stereotypes and subtle sexism we encounter every day are also part of the problem.
Collectively, we can all play a part towards positive change and gender inclusivity.
The Telecommunications Workers Union, United Steelworkers National Local 1944