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International Women's Day celebrates women organizing for economic equality

On March 8, International Women's Day, people will join across the globe to celebrate the achievements of women and their contributions to a better world and a better society.

This year, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is celebrating the work of women activists in the campaign to tackle the income inequality crisis. Through the All Together Now! campaign, Women 4 Change have been sharing personal stories about the struggles women have been facing since the start of the economic recession in 2008. And celebrating the fact that since then, women have been at the forefront focusing on social and economic change.

Anne Davis, chair of HSA's Women's Committee, participated in a Women 4 Change workshop this winter.

"As a program coordinator for a transition society, I work with women and children who are fleeing violence, who have ended up homeless because of domestic violence, and who have suffered all their lives from economic insecurity," she said.

"Economic turmoil is directly tied to increased domestic violence. Through Women 4 Change, activists from across Canada learned and shared strategies to reduce income inequality every day. Our communities are stronger because of the courage and dedication of the activists involved in Women 4 Change."

NUPGE national president James Clancy agrees. "We know that women have been hit the hardest during this economic crisis. True to form, our women activists have not shied away from speaking out and organizing on this very serious issue. They know how important it is for women's voices to be strong and loud in order to make the change we need."

In 2007, there were 1.22 million adult women living in poverty. Governments' singular focus on implementing austerity measures, combined with the massive tax cuts for profitable corporations, have had an overwhelming negative effect on the face of this country. According to the Toronto Star, In 2012-13 alone, Canada would have had $40.1 billion more revenue if the 2008-2012 tax cuts had not been made. Plus, the promised jobs in return for those cuts never appeared. It is estimated that corporations are still sitting on $50 billion of "dead money."

"When the economy is bad, women are the hardest hit. Women still earn less than men, balance more of the household, childcare and family responsibilities and often do not qualify for any forms of assistance," said Clancy.

"When governments give away revenue to their corporate friends, there is less money dedicated to the public services the majority of Canadians need."

"Women's poverty is not on the Conservative radar," said Clancy. "which is why the ATN Women 4 Change program is key to changing the debate and focus. We need to build a community of people who support national programs like a housing strategy and child care that will help lift women out of poverty and on the road to equality."

"On this International Women's Day, we thank all women working to promote equality for all, including income equality, and call on women everywhere to join the struggle."

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with more than 340,000 members. NUPGE's mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. HSA is a component of NUPGE.

International Women's Day Parade March 9

BC families, community activists, child care advocates and labour unions will mark International Women's Day with a call to action for affordable, accessible child care.

Event Details - International Women's Day 2013

DATE:  Saturday, March 9th, 11am – 12pm

LOCATION:  Jericho Beach Parking Lot (Near West 2nd and Wallace Streets, Vancouver)

Refreshments, Entertainment & Speakers followed by a Noise Parade to Premier Christy Clark's Constituency Office

All welcome! Bring the family! Activities, music, and prizes for the best decorated bikes and strollers.

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