Archive for the 'IWD' Category

2011 marks the global Centenary of International Women’s Day.

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on member states to proclaim a day for women’s rights and international peace. Following the United Nations’ lead, Canada chose March 8 as International Women’s Day. Each year at this time, Canadians celebrate progress toward equality for women and their full participation, reflect on the challenges and barriers that remain, and consider future steps to achieving equality for all women, in all aspects of their lives.

Read the PSAC Union Update – Spotlight on IWD at the national website.

Here is a listing of events in BC, check back as more will be added. Know of an event in your community? Let us know.

  • March 3: The Vancouver and District Labour Council’s Women’s Committee is holding a dinner on Thursday March 3, click here for details.
  • March 5: a parade will take place on Commercial Drive, followed by an indoor Festival at the Wise Hall on Victoria Drive in Vancouver. These events have been organized by a broad-based Planning Committee comprised of labour and community women and our organizations. The event is open to everyone and are designed to encourage family participation. To download a poster on this event click here. If you would like more information on how to enter the Parade and/or reserve a booth space at the Festival, please click here.
  • March 5: for information on Surrey’s 16th Annual International Women’s Day celebration on March 5 click here.
  • March 8: The B.C. Federation of Labour Annual International Women’s Day Breakfast will be held on March 8, 2011 at the Firefighter’s Hall in Burnaby from 7:30 – 9:00 am. For more information and to reserve your tickets, please see the poster and order form.  Order your tickets early as this event sells out each year and are sold on a first come, first serve basis.
  • March 8: The PSAC Victoria Regional Women’s Committee invites all PSAC women to “Celebrate Being a Woman” 6PM at the Victoria RO – click for details.
  • March 8: “Why Gender Matters in the Global Economy”- a lecture by Dr. Laura Parisi, Department of Women’s Studies, University of Victoria. Presented by the Wayward School – click for details.

Prince George Election of Officers AGM for Regional Women’s Committee

  • Date: March 5th, 2011
  • Place:  Ramada, 444 George St., Prince George – Room will be posted in lobby or ask at the desk
  • Time:   10:30 to noon, Immediately following the IWD breakfast

Please attend if you wish to run for election of any of the positions.
We will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day in style!!

Spotlight on International Women’s Day – The struggle continues, women still fighting for equality and human rights

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first international women’s conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, which lead to the creation of International Women’s Day. The day had been celebrated in many countries since the mid-1800s. But in 1910, women made the day a part of a worldwide movement and haven’t looked back since.

March 8 also represents the 40 year anniversary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women – the first Canada-wide investigation into women’s equality, which made recommendations that women are still fighting for today. Canadian women have seen many victories over the last four decades, including constitutional rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, paid maternity leave and laws that ensure equal pay for work of equal value.

In addition, Canadian women played a significant role in ensuring that women’s rights and gender equality are included in international agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.

But even though women have seen many improvements over the last 40 years, there is still much work to be done. Since the election of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in 2006, women have seen their rights rolled back or denied.

Read more of the Union Update spotlight on IWD at the national website.

In the week before International Women’s Day, the Canadian Labour Congress is launching an email campaign to let the Members of Parliament who voted in favour of scrapping Canada’s long gun registry know that this is the wrong thing to do!

Why is scrapping the gun registry the wrong thing to do? Among other things, it’s about violence against women.

More women in Canada are killed by their intimate partners than are killed by strangers – 65% of women murder victims are murdered by their intimate partners. In contrast, men are more likely to be killed by strangers, with only 15% of male homicides committed by their intimate partners. Most women are killed in their own homes – an Ontario study of risk factors of domestic violence found that possession or access to a firearm was the fourth most serious risk factor after marriage breakup, depression and a history of domestic violence.

In 1991 Canada brought in stricter gun control regulations, and also introduced the gun registry legislation in 1995.

The new laws focused on strengthening controls on rifles and shotguns – not just registering long guns but also strict regulations on the storage of these weapons. Since 1991 the overall rate of homicides with firearms (including handguns) in Canada is down by 40%. But the rate of homicides with rifles and shotguns has plummeted – a decrease of 70% in the same period. The number of women murdered by guns has fallen from 85 in 1991 to 24 in 2004.

In BC, Dona Cadman is one of the urban Conservative MPs who voted in favour of abolishing the registry. Please take a moment to visit the CLC website and send her an email asking her to change her mind.

Election of Officers/Annual General Meeting, Prince George PSAC Regional Women’s Committee

  • Date: Sat., March 6th, 2010
  • Place: Ramada Hotel, Alder Room
  • Time: Immediately following the International Women’s Day Breakfast which will be approximately 10:30 or 11:00am


  • Election of Officers
  • IWD
  • Regional Women’s Conference
  • Round Table

By Hetty Alcuitas

As March 8 quickly approaches, it is a good time for working women to take a moment to remember the historical roots of International Womens Day and take stock of our current conditions as working-class and other marginalized women under the current economic crisis.

While governments and mainstream-media reports feed us with myths about the reasons for the crisis and ways to deal with it, many working-class women around the province have already been dealing with their day-to-day struggle of putting food in their childrens mouths and the survival of their families.

The worsening crisis is creating more fear amongst working women because of the disappearing safety net and massive layoffs. In reality, many women in B.C. have long been feeling the impacts of the governments neo-liberal policies on their daily lives. An increase in the flexibilization of labour has pushed many women into casual or part-time jobs. The continued lack of a national child-care program directly impacts womens ability to enter or stay in the workforce. Immigrant and migrant women find themselves in the poorest of jobs, often filling Canadas cheap labour needs. And all along, continued government cuts to social spending, including housing, welfare, education, and health care, hit women and children the hardest. We expect the crisis to only worsen for working-class and marginalized women in B.C., across Canada, and throughout the world.

But we know that this crisis and womens resistance to it is not something new.

One hundred years ago, in 1908, in the midst of turbulent political and economic times prior to World War I, over 20,000 women garment workers staged a general strike for 13 cold, New York winter weeks. Their call was for better pay and working conditions. Inspired by these Italian and Jewish immigrant garment workers, socialist and feminist delegates to the 1910 International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen called for an annual International Womens Day.

For the next 40 years, International Womens Day was a day of militant demands and actions. In 1911, 148 garment workers, mostly immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe, died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. The women had led a massive strike by garment workers and were struggling to form a union to change their disastrous working conditions. These demands were carried in early International Womens Day marches.

On March 8, 1917, Russian women went on strike for Peace, Bread and Land. With two million Russian soldiers dead and dismal work and living conditions at home, Russian women kicked off a wave of food riots, political strikes, and demonstrations that would end in the Russian Revolution. During World War II, women took to the streets on March 8 to demonstrate against fascist forces that were on the rise throughout Europe.

But during the Cold War era, widespread International Womens Day street demos came to an end in North America and Europe. By the late 1950s, the day was celebrated among fewer women, often indoors in small meeting halls and homes.

Inspired by revolutionary struggle in the Third World, the antiwar movement, and organizing in North America against national oppression and systemic racism, the second wave womens movement emerged in the 1960s. In places like Vietnam, the Philippines, South Africa, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Iran, Nicaragua, and Northern Ireland, women were armed and fighting for their own liberation in the context of national liberation struggles. After 20 years of quiet, in-door commemorations, International Womens Day was revived as a day of action, solidarity, and resistance as imperialism ravaged the lives of women the world over.

Today, for working-class women and children, the chaos and crisis caused by imperialism is a daily fact of life. At the same time, the organization and resistance of the people is growing-often with women in the lead as we stand up for ourselves and our sisters, our families, and our communities.

(Hetty Alcuitas is a member of Grassroots Women. Reprinted from the Georgia Straight.)

Grassroots Women will hold a forum and cultural cabaret, Hard Times Come Again No More: Working-class women understanding, surviving and resisting the economic crisis, on Sunday, March 8, in the Lore Krill Housing Co-op common room (65 West Cordova Street).

Hard times Come Again No More!
Working Class Women Understanding, Resisting, and Surviving the Economic Crisis

Please join Grassroots Women for a collaborative forum and cultural cabaret. Lore Krill Housing Co-op Common Room, 65 West Cordova (between Abbott and Carrall).

3:00 – 4:00: Meet and greet, view art and informational displays
4:00 – 6:00: Speakers and discussion on understanding, resisting, and surviving economic crises past and present
6:00 – 8:00: Light supper, cultural cabaret

To RSVP (to help us estimate how much food we need) or for more information, contact Grassroots Women at 604-682-4451.

Grassroots Women, 1115B E. Hastings (entrance on Glen), Vancouver, BC V6A 1S3
phone: 604-682-4451 (fax same #, please call first)

pb's rwc logoOn March 8, International Women’s Day, the Canadian Labour Congress is launching a women’s economic equality campaign – “Equality! Once and For All!” An exciting year-long campaign, the CLC will use every opportunity to raise awareness about the lack of attention paid by politicians, employers and the media to the growing economic inequality of women, through the use of creative and innovative tactics.

The PSAC is part of this campaign …

By mobilizing union women to talk with their union sisters and brothers, with their families, the public, media, and politicians at all levels of government, this campaign will focus on important solutions; solutions like belonging to a union, creating an accessible, affordable, public child care system, minimum wage reform, pay equity, improving Employment Insurance, CPP, OAS and GIS. We know that these solutions are key to closing the wage gap between working men and women.

After twenty-five years of progress, the gap between the average wages of Canadian men and women have stopped narrowing and is now growing. Women workers of colour, Aboriginal women and women with disabilities face even greater economic disadvantages.

Contact the CLC’s Women’s Economic Equality campaign coordinators at 613-526-7424 or by email at for ways in which you contribute to the success of this campaign, and continue to check the PSAC regional and national websites for updates on the campaign.

International Women’s Day events in BC

Here is a list of IWD events coming up in the Province. Is there an IWD event happening in your community? Email Patrick and we’ll add it to the calendar.

  • March 7, 7:30 AM, Vancouver, BC Federation of Labour annual breakfast | details @ calendar
  • March 7, 6PM, Vancouver, India Mahila Association IWD Event | details @ calendar
  • March 8, 11AM, Victoria & Nanaimo, CLC Teach-in Events | details @ calendar
  • March 8, 1:30PM, Vancouver, IWD Book Launch – Burmese Women’s Union Report about migrant women and girl workers | details @ calendar
  • March 8, 4PM, Vancouver, Grassroots Women IWD rally, march & dinner | details @ calendar
  • March 8, 7PM, Vancouver, IWD dinner & fundraiser in honour of Aboriginal women | details @ calendar

dove - inner glowCome out and support representatives from women’s groups who will be meeting with (Conservative Minister) Bev Oda. Meet at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 3rd for a demo outside of the Sheraton Wall Centre at Burrard and Nelson. Women will be calling for the reversal of the cuts to Status of Women Canada, child care, the Court Challenges Program etc. etc. and calling for the Conservative Government to support and fund a women’s equality agenda instead of attacking women’s rights.

The IWD “Strengthen Women’s Resistance” March and Rally – Vancouver – Thursday, March 8th at 5:30 p.m. Meet at the Chinatown Memorial Square (NE corner of Keefer and Columbia Streets.) Sponsored by Grassroots Women (604) 682-4451


Upcoming: Pre-IWD events in Vancouver

Please join Grassroots Women for an evening of film and discussion on the theme of Women Assert Our Basic Human Rights. A discussion will follow a screening of two films portraying women who show us that rights will not be “granted” but rather must be asserted and defended when under attack.

  • Thursday March 1st, 2007
  • 7:00 pm Rhizome Café, 317 East Broadway


My Name is Kahentiiosta profiles a Kahnawake Mohawk woman who participated in the armed standoff at Kanehsatake, detailing her experience of and perspective on the 1990 Oka Crisis, including her subsequent arrest and detention (which was prolonged by four days because she would give only her Mohawk name). Directed by Alanis Obomsawin, 1995.

Women in Struggle is about Palestinian women who are ex-political detainees demonstrating their struggle during their years of imprisonment in Israeli jails, exploring the effects on their present life and their future outlook. The focus is on the lives of four women who came out of their regular roles as sisters, mothers, wives, and took on a different role being involved in the Palestinian national struggle for independence. Directed by Buthina Canaan Khoury, 2004.


Events: Build-up to IWD

International Women’s Day 2007

Since its inception, International Women’s Day (IWD), March 8th, has been a day of revolutionary struggle for the rights and freedom of oppressed and exploited women in the context of world-wide struggle against imperialism and war. Every year since our founding in 1995, Grassroots Women has mobilized on March 8th. By doing so, we connect with the tradition of working class women who have mobilized on this day for nearly 100 years, from the garment workers of New York City at the turn of the century, to the wives, daughters, and mothers of soldiers and armament workers in Russia who helped spark the Russian Revolution, to the women of movements for national and social liberation in the Third World.

In 2007, Grassroots Women will mark IWD by holding events under the following theme:

  • Strengthen Women’s Resistance
  • Oppose Imperialism’s Intensifying Attacks!
  • Assert Women’s Basic Human Rights!

Please join us for a march and rally on Thursday, March 8th 2007, beginning at 5:30 pm at Chinatown Memorial Square (NE corner of Keefer and Columbia) and ending with refreshments at the Grassroots Women office.


Russian poster commemorating International Women's DayOne of our new Prime Minister’s first acts was to strongly advise another newly-elected government to honour the agreements negotiated and signed by its predecessor.

Yet, that’s what his new government wants to do. It wants to scrap the child care agreements signed last fall by the federal government and each province. Five-year funding deals will be terminated in March 2007, over the strong objections of provincial governments who made plans to better serve young families and their children.

Why do this? What makes the Prime Minister’s own vision of child care so compelling that it should override and cancel the vision each and every premier signed onto in their contract with Ottawa? Why take away badly-needed child care spaces – like the 6000 spaces that would have been created for working families in Toronto alone.


pbs rwc logoIt’s time to rise again – we all need a universal child care program

International Women’s Day represents nearly a century of struggle for the equality of women world-wide.

This March 8th women in the PSAC are not only celebrating the gains we have achieved over the last century, we are also actively participating in a campaign to ensure that child care is publicly (and not for profit) delivered, universal and affordable.

Given the election of the Conservative government, the challenges facing working women and their families are greater than ever. In fact, the threats to the rights we have won at are stake and PSAC women will not stand by and allow those rights to be eroded.

That is why the PSAC has made CHILD CARE one of our main priorities this year. We know that the number of women in the labour force is high and growing. At the same time, the overwhelming responsibility for the care of children remains with women and the lack of affordable child care spaces in quality public and not for profit centres remains a major obstacle to women’s full equality.


wish/dtes IWD poster Remembering our Sisters

This event will highlight photos of some of the sixty-five commemorative quilts produced by women of the Downtown Eastside. Poetry and music will be featured at an event taking place at 119 West Pender Street, on March 8, 2006 from 4:00pmm. til 7:00 p.m. International Women’s Day. A special guest, poet and Guatemalan woman’s activist Sandra Moran will perform and bring greetings from the women of a country also devastated by hundreds of cases of missing and murdered women. Teenage girls from North Vancouver will perfom a touching piece of music they wrote in commemoration of women from the Downtown Eastside.Remembering Our Sisters uses the celebratory occasion of International Women’s Day to both commemorate the more than sixty-five women who have disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and to celebrate the art and political activism of those who continue the struggle for equality and survival among some of Vancouver’s most marginalized women.

The organizations Wish Drop-In Centre, PEERS and PACE, groups that provide counselling services for current and exiting sex-trade workers, are hosting the celebration, art and performances with broad community support from women in BC’s Labour Movement and others.

IWD Event: Prince George

pbs rwc logoHadani Ditmars, an internationally known journalist based in Canada, will be speaking in Prince George at the College of New Caledonia on Wed., March 8th/06 at 7:00pm. (International Women’s Day)

The meeting is organized by the Northern Women’s Forum and the Active Voice Coalition. Everyone is invited to participate in this event and meet Ms. Ditmars.

Sponsored by: Status of Women Committee – Faculty Association of College of New Caledonia.

Unfortunately, the March 4/06 IWD breakfast hosted by the Local Labour Council is now sold out. A dozen sisters from PSAC will be in attendance.

IWD March and Rally, Saturday March 4th

IWD poster

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2006 – March and Rally Saturday March 4th

  • Gather at the Broadway Skytrain @ 11am
  • March to Grandview Park (Commercial & Charles) @ 11:30 am Rally starts at Noon – 1 pm
  • To volunteer or for more information call 604-708-0447
  • Wheelchair accessible, ASL Interpretation provided

pbs rwc logoJoin us in celebration of International Women’s Day!

Raising our voices for Equality, Solidarity & Justice.

March 8th, 2006 8AM
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
6083 McKay Ave, Burnaby

Guest speaker: Carole James – Leader, BC NDP

There is no charge for this event, but those wishing to attend must RSVP no later than March 3, 2006 to the BC Federation of Labour switchboard at 604-430-1421.

Vancouver & District Labour Council Women’s Committee presents …

3rd Annual Celebration of International Women’s Day: Fighting for Our Jobs, Our Public Services, and Our Future

What the Night will hold … Presentation of Outstanding Women in Our Community Award, Silent Auction, Dinner & Dancing

Where: Fraserveiw Hall, 8240 Fraser Street (at Marine Drive)

When: Wednesday, March 8 – Doors 5:30 pm, Program 6:00 pm

Guest Speakers: Judy Darcy, HEU and Libby Davies, MP Vancouver East

Entertainment: Solidarity Sisters and DJ Moraswi

Tickets: $10 to $40, Sliding Scale – $320 for table of 8. Contact Keziah at the VDLC for tickets 604-254-0703 or

A Women’s Only Event, Partial proceeds to benefit the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. Download the VDLC IWD celebration poster pdf document

Grassroots Women: International Womens Day

Please join us for International Women’s Day 2006 – Building Anti-imperialist Solidarity: Towards a Just and Lasting Peace

Sunday March 5th, 10am-4pm, a Conference focusing on the current issues facing working class and marginalized women internationally:

  • Women and war, occupation, and intervention
  • Exploitation of women’s labour
  • Forced migration, immigration and trafficking of women
  • Privatization of women’s basic needs (health, childcare, education, transportation)

Venue to be announced.

Wednesday, March 8th, 5:30 pm, a Rally and March – Meet at the Vancouver Public Library

For more information or to volunteer, contact Grassroots Women

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