International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women.
On March 8, 2012, the United Steelworkers and Women of Steel celebrate over 100 years of activism and achievement and renew our commitment to equality and women's rights.
At the 1910 International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, the idea of celebrating an international women's day was adopted and the first International Women's Day was observed in 1911.
Today, more and more women are taking on leadership roles in our workplaces and in our union, though the struggle for equality continues.
Women in Canada still earn only 72% of what their male counterparts earn. Women are still the primary caregivers, raising children or looking after aging relatives. Women are not equally represented in boardrooms, legislatures or in Parliament. Women still suffer violence and harassment at home and in the workplace. Half of single women over 65 live in poverty. The lack of affordable national childcare means women aren't full participants in the work force and our children aren't getting high-quality early learning.
Steelworkers and Women of Steel are fighting for women's equality every day. At International Women's Day events we reach out to women and unionists across our movement to come together, take inspiration from women's achievements and raise our collective voices in a loud and boisterous call for change.
Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have failed women with broken promises and cuts to programs. The current Conservative government has failed women by :
- failing to take steps to improve women's retirement security.
- failing to create affordable childcare. The search for affordable and quality childcare is a great pressure on families and childcare costs are one of the largest costs a family has to bear.
- destroying the gun registry and abolishing its database, which has put women's safety at risk.
The list of actions taken to bring down the quality of life for women goes on and on.
The Steelworkers have worked with the NDP to achieve practical results for women on childcare, pay equity, retirement security, violence prevention and support for advocacy.
Unions need women and women need unions. Women make our union strong. On International Women's Day, let's work together to make positive changes for women and other vulnerable workers.