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Join us for the March 9th International Women's Day Rally

The 2013 International Women’s Day March and Rally will take place in Toronto, on Saturday, March 9th, beginning with the Rally at 11:00 a.m. at O.I.S.E., 225 Bloor St. West, at the St. George subway station. Be sure to visit the Local 79 table in the OISE lobby. The March will follow at 1:00 p.m. Please join us for this important event that marks the ongoing struggle for equality faced by women all over the world.

Over 75% of CUPE Local 79 members are women. The women of Local 79 care for Toronto. They care for our children, our grandchildren, and our grandparents. Our public health nurses help Torontonians when they’re down. Our clerical staff  help the City run smoothly. Our instructors keep us all in shape. These are just some of the services that the women of Local 79 provide that Torontonians depend on, and there is so much more! Let’s show our city the great women who take care of Toronto! We encourage our union brothers to come celebrate in solidarity!

The idea of an International Women’s Day first arose at the turn of the century and the origins have been traced to labour strikes on March 8th in both 1857 and 1908 in New York City. Workers were protesting dangerous working conditions and the exploitative wages paid to women textile workers. During this time, women from across North America and Europe were demanding women’s rights and suffrage.

International Women’s Day was formally declared at the Socialists International Meeting in Copenhagen in 1910. The day gained increasing support across the globe until the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1977 calling on member states to proclaim a day for women’s rights and international peace. Following the United Nations’ lead, Canada chose March 8th as International Women’s Day. Today, International Women’s Day is designated in many countries as a national holiday.

On March 25, 1911, the tragic fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City took the lives of more than 140 women garment workers, most of whom were Italian and Jewish immigrants. At the time of the fire, the only safety measures available for the workers were 27 buckets of water and a fire escape that collapsed when people tried to use it. Almost all of the doors were locked, and those that were not locked only opened inwards and were effectively held shut by the onrush of workers attempting to escape the fire. This shocking event had a significant impact on labour legislation in the United States and when International Women’s Day subsequently commemorated the women who perished, the appalling working conditions leading up to the disaster were highlighted.

International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for “liberty, equality, fraternity” marched on Versailles to demand women’s suffrage.

Over 75% of CUPE Local 79 members are women. We provide the services that Torontonians depend on.

We encourage our union brothers to come celebrate in solidarity!

When: 11:00 am, Saturday, March 9th, 2013
Where:  Indoor Rally — OISE, 252 Bloor Street West.  Followed by a march to Ryerson.

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