International Women's Day: Celebrating women's successes

As educators around BC rally and march for fairness and change in our schools we are reminded once again of the important link between the campaign for progressive change and the solidarity we build within our communities to secure those changes. On March 8, women around the globe show that solidarity and determination for progressive change by marking International Women's Day with rallies, celebrations and gatherings organized to advance the cause of women's rights.

In Canada, the struggle for equality still has a long way to go. Women's pay continues to lag that of men even though the work and skill required for those jobs are the same. Women are disproportionately affected by the determination of right-wing governments, whether it's at the provincial or federal level, to wage war on budget deficits by cutting public services or limiting access to important social benefits. And women in Canada are more likely to retire with significantly less pension coverage compared to men.

Reversing these inequalities are major reasons why women turn to unionization and collective bargaining. They know that one of the most effective ways to fight inequality is to band together, in solidarity with others, and fight for better conditions. In post-secondary education, our commitment to reversing those workplace inequalities is longstanding. Over the 30 years that our locals have joined forces to achieve better benefits for our members, we have managed to close the gender wage gap and ensure that woman in our institutions achieve greater protections.

We still have much to do, but today we need to remember how our solidarity contributed to the gains we have recorded so far. This International Women's Day we need to celebrate the strength and courage that women around the world have shown in the struggle for true equality. Their successes provide benefits to us all.

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.