International Working Women’s Day – now known as International Women’s Day – was first observed in March 1911, when over a million people took part in rallies campaigning for women’s rights and against discrimination.
This year’s organizing for International Women’s Day, March 8, aims to revive its original political meaning throughout society.
The Trump administration, the ongoing effects of neoliberalism and austerity, the rise of fascist and proto-fascist powers around the world, and climate change and refugee crises threaten women’s rights on many fronts. Many of us believe that a new feminist movement is taking shape.
Just as we supported the solidarity marches throughout Quebec and Canada on January 21, we look forward to this March 8, A Day Without a Woman (https://www.womensmarch.com/womensday) and the International Women’s Strike (https://www.womenstrikeus.org/), when women will withhold labour – both paid and unpaid – to demonstrate economic solidarity around the globe.
We can put an end to gender violence, we can work for reproductive justice, bring feminist principles and practices to our labour politics, and fight misogyny and imperialism, and protect the earth on which we depend, but to do these we must rise up together. On March 8 we will show the world that women will be united in these struggles.
Meanwhile here in CUPW, we have embarked on the RSMC pay equity process that came out of our negotiations last year, and our National Women’s Committee is pursuing a variety of issues to make the postal service, the union and our whole society safe, healthy, inclusive and equitable for female and trans workers.
We will continue to put a gender lens on our work and our workplace issues, and we won’t stop until we achieve equality. There is so much still to accomplish, and together we absolutely have the strength and perseverance it will take.