International Women’s Day: Let’s put women’s issues on the federal election agenda

Every March 8, HEU joins in solidarity with the global community to recognize women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s issues, and advocate for more equality as we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). 

As a social justice union, HEU has fought for decades to achieve pay equity, eradicate gender-based wage discrimination, lobby for a national child care program, and defend women’s rights economically, socially and politically. 

That’s why HEU is proud to join the Alliance for Women’s Rights, and recently endorse their Up for Debate campaign. 

Backed by more than 160 women’s organizations, trade unions and community groups from every geographical region in Canada, Up for Debate is a call for a national public debate on women’s issues during this year’s federal election. It’s been 30 years since such a debate took place for the first and only time.

The Alliance is asking federal leaders to support this action, engage in open and meaningful conversation, and commit to making concrete changes to improve the social, political and economic lives of women in Canada and globally. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May have both agreed to the Alliance's call to action, but Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are still dragging their feet.

So far, the Alliance – which represents nearly five million Canadians – has identified three key issues: ending violence against women, ending women’s economic inequality, and supporting women’s leadership and women’s organizations. 

It’s no secret that there’s still a significant gap between women’s and men’s earnings, and that fewer leadership opportunities are open to women. 

It’s no secret that the Harper Conservatives continue to refuse launching a National Public Inquiry into the thousands of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, which is especially a huge concern in B.C. 

And it’s no secret that Harper cancelled initiatives to create a National Child Care program. 

It’s time for Canadians to take action and stop Harper’s incessant attack on women’s equality. 

Please visit the Up for Debate website to send letters to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Bloc Québécois Leader Mario Beaulieu, and sign their petition calling on a national leaders' debate on women's issues in the upcoming federal election.