Today marks International Women’s Day. Celebrated each year on March 8, IWD is a day to celebrate and remember women’s achievements. While the UN recognized IWD as March 8 in 1975, it has been celebrated for more than a century, and its origins overlap with trade unions and the struggle for social justice and economic equality.
This year’s IWD theme is ‘Choose to Challenge’ and it urges us to recognize the role women have played in fighting inequality, but also to confront the ongoing reality of inequality and gender discrimination in Canada and around the world.
This theme is particularly relevant for our union, which is made up of part-time, precarious academic workers. Women are overrepresented in these positions, and there remains a gendered pay gap in full-time academic work. These gendered inequalities have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our fall newsletter includes a piece by Shiva Nourpanah and Chantelle Falconer, both members, that considers the gendered impacts of the pandemic on post-docs and emerging graduates.
CUPE Nova Scotia and CUPE National both have recommendations for actions to take to celebrate IWD and to choose to challenge gender inequality. CUPE NS’s Women’s Committee will be sharing IWD stories about choosing to challenge on their Facebook page. The Canadian Labour Congress also has a page on gender equality you can visit.
CUPE 3912 stands alongside all those who choose to challenge sexism, discrimination and inequality in the workplace and beyond.