This International Women’s Day, Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to meet its international obligations and show real progress towards women’s equality and economic justice.
“We know some steps the federal government can take right now to be a global leader in gender equality—if they are bold enough,” said Marie Clarke Walker, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress.
In 1995, 189 governments, including Canada’s, signed on to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which set out a clear roadmap to achieve gender equality and the human rights of women.
“Despite recent progress, there is still so much work to do. At the current rate, women will have to wait 164 more years before Canada closes the economic gender gap,” added Clarke Walker.
This year, the Generation Equality Forum will mark the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. With gatherings in Mexico and France, this forum will engage women’s rights activists, governments and other stakeholders in a global public conversation. Together, these groups will take stock of progress and set an agenda of concrete action to realize gender equality before 2030.
The Platform for Action committed governments to taking strategic, bold action in 12 critical areas: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment and the girl child.
“The number one thing our federal government can do immediately is to restore core funding to women’s rights organizations and feminist movements,” said Clarke Walker. “For far too long, these organizations have struggled for necessary resources to fund their important, and often life-saving, work. Funding that covers core operational costs can build strong, independent women’s movements that drive change.”
Canada’s unions are committed to building strong, vibrant feminist movements. Working together, we can be a powerful force for women’s economic justice.
The Canadian Labour Congress is inviting Canadians to mark International Women’s Day by taking the following actions:
- Write to the Minister of Status of Women and the Prime Minister and ask them to demonstrate real commitment to women’s equality and economic justice.
- Read “Unfinished Business”, a civil society report on Canada’s progress in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action.
- Share the top 20 actions the government can take in 2020 to show leadership on women’s rights and gender equality.