|CUPW IWD button c. 1995|
International Women's Day brings with it the inevitable lip service being paid to women's equality by many neoliberal politicians. It is important to remember the origins of IWD in the struggles of working class women. The fact is that poverty and low wages are still a gendered issue and that women are significantly more likely to be minimum wage workers or to be living in poverty.
Not supporting dramatically higher social assistance rates and a commitment to real living wages (a $15 an hour minimum wage is just a step towards that) is a direct attack on all workers, but also women workers especially.
If a politician wants to claim to be celebrating International Women's Day, ask them where they stand on these issues. If they are not supporting immediate legislated living wages and livable social assistance rates they are condemning, disproportionately, women to poverty and injustice.
None of the major political parties on any level in Canada have any serious commitment to tackling these issues.
Which makes their celebration of the day ring very hollow.
The Facts about Women and Poverty in Canada
A $15 Minimum Wage Is A Feminist Issue
Who Earns Minimum Wage?