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International Women’s Day: Fighting for an equitable future

International Women's Day illustration, with a number of women showing solidarity

This International Women’s Day, PSAC recognizes the strength and resiliency of women each and every day. The global pandemic has disproportionately impacted women. This is a gendered crisis and we must continue to organize and take action towards a just recovery. A just recovery that addresses the intersectional gendered implications of the pandemic.

In the early months of the pandemic, women’s participation in the Canadian paid labour force fell to its lowest level in three decades. This ground will not be easily recovered because women are over-represented in the industries hit hardest by the pandemic. This includes the service sector; where jobs are often lower-waged, non-unionized and precarious. Women make up the majority of our frontline workers and this essential work has placed them at the forefront during the pandemic, putting them at greater risk of contracting the virus.

The closure of schools and daycares created additional hurdles for many women because they were more often forced to limit their paid working hours or give up work altogether to care for their children. This was further exacerbated for women from marginalized communities who face additional systemic barriers.

A just recovery plan must have a feminist approach that is intersectional. This means a Canada-wide affordable and accessible child care system. We have been fighting for child care for decades and we are at a monumental time to bring about this change. Women’s equality and economic independence depends on child-care. Last year, the government promised to create a national early learning and child care system. This is not enough. The government must lay out and fund a plan for universally accessible and high quality child care.

The women of our union have fought long and hard for equality and justice; and we haven’t let the pandemic hold us back. Through our actions and solidarity, we will break down barriers and fight for a just recovery for all. This International Women’s Day, and every day, we must keep fighting for an equitable future. Together, we have the power to create lasting change.

The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.

PSAC celebrates women’s power to create change

International Women’s Day is a time to look back on the victories and struggles that have led to greater gender equality in Canada and around the world. It is also a day to remember that there is still much more work to be done to achieve equality for all women.

Throughout our history, PSAC has fought and achieved significant improvements for women at the bargaining table, in the courts and through mobilization and action. PSAC remains committed to breaking through the barriers faced by all women, including racialized women, Indigenous women, lesbians, bisexual women, trans women, non-binary people and women with disabilities.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we sat down with some of PSAC’s women leaders to talk about why it’s so important for women to join their union.

Despite the incredible victories women have achieved through their union, we need your support to overcome the challenges that still stand in the way of gender equality.

On this International Women’s Day, let’s call on the federal, provincial and territorial governments to:

  • implement all recommendations from the Calls for Justice;
  • implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
  • commit to a plan for affordable, high-quality childcare;
  • integrate an intersectional approach to the implementation of the National Action Plan to end gender-based violence;
  • ensure pay equity legislation is enacted effectively;
  • provide workers with 10 paid days of domestic violence leave;
  • ratify International Labour Organization Convention C-190; and
  • increase funding and access to women’s shelters and sexual assault support centres.

PSAC women have won groundbreaking advances in pay equity, the first-ever collective agreement clause providing sexual harassment protection, paid maternity and parental leave, same sex benefits, domestic violence leave and much more.

We encourage all women to get involved in their union – because together, we have the power to create lasting change!

The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.