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All women rise up proud and strong

International Women’s Day is about unity and what we can all do together, in solidarity, to make change happen. In Canada, women still earn less than men for the same work and they still experience violence and discrimination.
We must join together to say no to violence, hate, racism and poverty.
More than 100 years ago, women came together and marched through the streets of New York, calling for shorter working hours, better pay, and voting rights. International Women’s Day has been celebrated annually on March 8th ever since.
CUPE Local 79 says no to violence.
Local 79 continues to fight for supports for women in the workplace who face domestic violence. It’s critical that employers provide accommodation to employees affected by domestic violence or sexual violence and put in place mandatory training for all staff about how violence can affect employees in the workplace.
We must make this world a safe place for women and children – nothing could be more important.
On International Women’s Day we must remember and mourn the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. We must mourn ̶ but we must also fight for the living.
The long overdue National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) must be a comprehensive investigation to produce solid recommendations and far-reaching, enforceable laws. The Inquiry must produce results; the memory of so many ‘stolen sisters’ must never be forgotten and our fight against violence against women must intensify.
On the economic front, women aren’t faring very well either. A recent report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and OXFAM Canada entitled Making Women Count – the unequal economics of women’s work exposes the fact that “women still earn much less than men for the same work.  In 2009, women in Canada earned on average 74.4 per cent of what men earned. In 2010, it was 73.6 per cent, and in 2011, it was 72 per cent, roughly where it remains today.” The gender pay gap continues to leave women stranded in precarious and low-wage jobs.
Local 79 believes that for all people, a good job is the best route out of poverty. That is why we have supported Toronto’s multi-pronged Poverty Reduction Strategy. We are particularly supportive of its recommendations relating to good jobs and connecting members of vulnerable communities to opportunities for stable, secure employment.
There is still so much work to be done.
On March 8th, International Women’s Day, we must commit to fight for social justice and economic equality – every day of the year.
In Solidarity,
Tim Maguire
President