March 8, 2010: Solidarity for Women
Solidarity has always been an integral part of the labour movement. It is a recognition by all that we share a common struggle and a common history. But our solidarity often extends far beyond those in unions. The labour movement has a long history of extending solidarity to the broader community where the fight for justice and equality is as critical an outcome as it is for those within our ranks.
That's one of the reasons why the labour movement across Canada and around the world is an active and tireless supporter of the women's movement. We recognize in their struggle the same issues of fairness and equality as well as economic and social justice that we strive to achieve for union members.
International Women's Day is a day when we not only acknowledge the struggle that women face as they press for equality, but also recognize the contribution that their struggle has made to the quality of our lives, both at work and in our communities. It was the mobilization by the women's movement over a century ago, for example, that led to one of the greatest expansions in voter rights that we have ever seen in this country.
When International Women's Day was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1977, it marked yet another important milestone on the road to true equality for women. Some progress has been recorded for women in developed and developing countries alike: in many countries, provisions guaranteeing the enjoyment of human rights without discrimination on the basis of sex have been included in constitutions; legal literacy and other measures have been introduced to alert women to their rights and to ensure their access to those rights; the world community has identified violence against women as a clear violation women's rights; incorporating gender perspectives into regular programs and policies has become a priority at the United Nations and in many member states.
Those measures move us in the right direction, but there is still much more that needs to be done. Women still earn substantially less than men. Violence against women is far too often a reality in communities across our country and around the world. These and other barriers must be eliminated before women can experience true equality.
On this day FPSE along with the rest of the labour movement will join thousands of women around BC to celebrate IWD. We will express our solidarity for the struggle that women face and our commitment to mobilize support for the equality that women deserve.
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.