Last year on Jan 21, a historic moment took place around the world. An estimated 5 million people worldwide took part in the 2017 Women’s March, an event about fighting for women’s rights.
Although the organizers say that it was not about President Donald Trump specifically, it did take place a day after Trump’s inauguration – a man who was caught talking openly about sexual assault and has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault.
But it wasn’t just in America where people took to the streets in support of women’s rights – Canadians came out in full force. Over 50,000 took to the streets in Toronto, 15,000 in Vancouver, 4,000 in Edmonton and 4,000 in Calgary.
This year, organizers have announced that the march will happen again.
On Jan 20, cities and communities across the country will once again see people take to the street in support of women’s rights, and this past year has proved there is still lots of work to do.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Canada has the 8th highest gender wage gap of 34 industrialized countries and the world economic foundation found that Canada ranks in 30th place, making it 117 years before we would reach gender parity. Oxfam Canada found that working full-time aboriginal women made 26 per cent less than non-aboriginal men and women of colour made 32 per cent less than non-racialized men.
Sexual harassment and assault is an issue around the world including Canadian workplaces. A recent survey has found that more than half of women in Canada have experienced sexual harassment at work.
Domestic violence is also a serious issue for women in Canada. A 2015 study by the Conference Board of Canada found that 71 per cent of employers and 55 per cent of government employers reported a situation where they had to protect an employee who was a victim of domestic violence.
It is clear we still need to raise our voices in support of women’s rights around the world.
Unions are passionate about the fight for women’s rights in and ouside of the workplace. The labour movement was proud to take part in the inaugural 2017 march, and will once again be proud to take part in this march.
For more information visit womensmarchcanada.com.