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Ontario's Union for fairness, equality and respect at work.

In March 8, millions of women and allies will take to streets across the globe for International Women’s Day to march for equality.

1006A members, activists and staff will be among those celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness and taking action. 

Generations of women have helped build our labour movement, workplaces and communities. With their knowledge, strength and courage, women have shaped and strengthened our union and country for the better. 

While we recognize and celebrate their achievements, we recognize more work has to be done.

Women make up more than 50 per cent of Canada’s population but they continue to be vastly underrepresented in elected office at city halls, Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill, and in leadership positions in private and public sectors.

The long-existing wage gap is also evidence of the entrenched gender inequality in our society, with women making approximately 30 per cent less than men. For women who are racialized and indigenous, the pay gap is even greater. In Ontario, the fight for equal pay suffered a significant setback as the Doug Ford government put the brakes on the Pay Transparency Act. The latter would have made wage scales and compensation more transparent among large non-union employers and would have discouraged companies from paying women less.

The systemic inequality in the employment sector shows why union representation is so vital, as it ensures members will be paid equally regardless of gender, race, or sexual identity.

Achieving gender equality also means eliminating gender-based violence. The Canadian Women’s Foundation reports: “Women in Canada live at greater risk than men of domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment and sex trafficking.” Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

The challenges we face are great but together, we can overcome them by standing together, raising awarenesss and taking action for change. Your union invites you to rally for gender equality by participating in the International Women’s Day march in downtown Toronto on March 8. The rally will start at 11 a.m. at the OISE Auditorium (252 Bloor St. W).

The voices, experiences and future of our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers matter. I strongly encourage all our members to attend and become part of the movement to achieve gender equality.

Together, we will create change and build a fairer more just society.

In Solidarity,

Wayne Hanley 

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