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March 8th is International Women’s Day. On this day, women and allies across the globe unite to recognize the political, economic, and social achievements of women workers, and reflect on the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality and social justice.


After the celebration of nearly 100 International Women’s Days, many women have yet to overcome barriers that prevent their equal participation in, and benefit from, paid work. In Ontario and around the world many female workers continue to earn less than men despite exceeding them academically, are more likely to work multiple jobs, experience greater precariousness, continue to hold primary responsibility for family, home, and childcare, and face hidden barriers to equal participation in their unions. Women of colour, immigrant women, and women who are disabled face additional barriers to full and equal participation in the workforce and in their communities.


CUPE Ontario’s women’s committee is committed to promote awareness of these and other barriers facing women in their workplaces, and the broader society.  In December 2008, the Women’s Committee held its biannual conference to bring women together from across the province to discuss the intersectional issues that affect us and our struggle for equality. The committee is working on a number of other initiatives including an annual International Women’s Day event to recognize the activist work of CUPE women across the province.


On March 8th, 2009, CUPE Ontario’s Women’s Committee urges all members to celebrate the accomplishments that working women have made over the past century. We also urge the membership to reflect on the existing barriers to women’s political, economic and social participation, and to commit to working toward fairness and justice for all.


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