Each year we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. However, it isn’t just the one day that recognizes women, the entire month is dedicated to the history of women’s rights.
Because there is a long history, and the fight isn’t over.
From the suffragettes to the #MeToo movement, women have been fighting for equality and basic human rights for decades. That is why this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #MyFeminism, to celebrate feminists who ‘inspire others through their determination to make a difference.’
Whenever the topic of feminism is discussed, the same comments will come up from those who don’t understand the plight women faced and are still facing regarding pay equity, poverty and violence across the globe and right here in Canada.
Pay inequality – it doesn’t exist because the women I work with get paid the same as me.
The #MeToo movement – it’s just a witch hunt that is ruining lives.
Gender based violence – women need to stop putting themselves in dangerous situations.
Lack of representation in leadership roles – they choose to take time out to have children.
The reality is that countless studies and statistics support the fact that women are still not treated equally in Canada, and large human rights organizations are taking notice.
In the United Nations Gender Equality Index Canada ranks a dismal 25th. The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) issued recommendations regarding Canada’s compliance with the UN treaty on women’s rights that need to be implemented by 2020.
Unions have been involved in the fight for equality for women for decades across North America. Female union members have been organizing rallies and standing up for the rights of all workers from garment factory workers of the late 1800’s to the Fight for 15 movement of today.
So this March, no matter what gender, age or race you are, take a moment to reflect on what #MyFeminism means to you.