UPDATED: Unions lead the fight for womens equality

March 8 marks the 100th Anniversary of International Womens Day.
Just a generation ago, when our mothers entered the workforce, job postings still listed higher wages for men ... -mens rates" ... alongside lower -womens rates," for people working side by side, doing exactly the same job.
While women have fought for and achieved many significant gains, the wage gap between women and men today remains staggering: almost 30 per cent. Women working full-time still only make 70 cents for every dollar men are paid.
On average, a Canadian woman earns $39,200, while a man earns $55,700. The gap is even more appalling for women of colour (68 cents / dollar) and worst for Aboriginal women (46 cents / dollar).
Surprisingly, the situation is worse for women with post-secondary education. The Canadian Labour Congress reports that in 1985, these women earned 75 per cent of what their male peers got paid. By 2005, this had dropped to 68 per cent.
Union women lead the way
In fact, having union representation was the best way for women to achieve fairness. For example, in 2006, unionized women earned an average of $21.85 an hour, or 93 per cent of the wage of unionized men, according to the CLC.
Thats in addition to the other benefits of being part of a union: better benefits, job security, protection from harassment, and maternity and parental leave benefits. However much we have achieved, its clear that more remains to be done.
HSA invites members to celebrate International Womens Day by taking part in various activities and celebrations taking place across the province this weekend.
If you know of an event in your community that is not listed below, please contact Yukie Kurahashi at @email. Check HSAs website at www.hsabc.org for updates to this schedule of events.
City: Vancouver
Date: March 5, Parade (12:30-2:00pm) Festival (2:00-4:30pm)
Place: Parade Start ... McSpadden Park (Victoria & E. 4th Ave.) Festival ... WISE
Hall (1882 Adanac Street)
Event: International Womens Day Centenary Parade and Festival
City: Vancouver
Date: March 5, 6pm
Place: Fraserview Hall, 8240 Fraser Street
Event: International Womens Day with India Mahila Association; contact 604.777.2052, or @email 
City: Victoria
Date: March 5, 6pm-10pm
Place Floyds Diner, 866 Yates Street
Event: 3rd Annual V-Day Art and Music Show, including live performances and an auction of art and craft pieces by local artists. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177446462296753
City: Burnaby
Date: March 8, 7:30am-9:35am
Place: Firefighters Club, 6515 Bonsor Avenue
Event: BC Federation of Labour / International Womens Day Breakfast
City: Courtenay
Date: March 8, 5:30 p.m.
Place: K'omoks First Nation Band Hall
Event: International Women's Day Community Potluck and Film Night; free, everyone welcome
City: Nanaimo
Date: March 8, 11:30 p.m.
Place: Royal Canadian Legion, 1630 E. Wellington
Event: Zonta Club of Nanaimo IWD Centenary lunch; for tickets, call Corinne at 250-754-5226 or Del at 250-758-8792
City: Penticton
Date: March 8, 10am-2pm
Place: Sunoka Foyer, Okanagan College campus on Duncan Ave
Event: Refreshments & festivities
City: Penticton
Date: March 8, 6pm-8:30pm
Place: Cafeteria, Okanagan College campus on Duncan Ave
Event: Celebrate with live music, speakers, art exhibition, refreshments; co-hosted by the Okanagan College Students' Union, the South Okanagan Boundary Labour Council, and the Penticton & Area Women's Centre
City: Surrey
Date: March 8, 5pm, rain or shine
Place: Peace Arch Park
Event: Women on the Bridge: come together at the Peace Arch International Park in support of war-torn women across the world. For more information contact @email
City: Vancouver
Date: March 8, 4:30pm
Place: Vancouver City Hall
Event: Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Womens Advisory Committee are pleased to invite you to attend a celebration of the 100th International Womens Day; @email
City: Vancouver
Date: March 8, 7pm-10pm
Place: Ironworks Studio, 235 Alexander Street
Event: Strong Women, Strong Music: benefit for Atira Womens Resource Society
City: Vancouver
Date: March 8, 7pm
Place: Room 122A Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue
Event: IWD Film Night ... A Powerful Noise
City: Nanaimo
Date: March 9, 5:30pm
Place: St. Pauls Anglican Church Hall, 100 Chapel Street
Event: Womens International League for Peace and Freedom potluck gathering
City: Vancouver
Date: March 10, 7am-9:30am
Place: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia Street
Event: West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund Annual Equality Breakfast; see westcoastleaf.org
City: Vancouver
Date: March 10, 6:30pm
Place: Heritage Hall, Main St and 15th Ave
Event: Hungry4Change, a unique banquet dinner representative of food distribution around the globe with all proceeds going to Oxfam Canada. Hungry4Change is a banquet fundraiser unlike any other. Email @email
City: Victoria
Date: March 12, 7:30pm
Place: Alix Performance Hall, 907 Pandora
Event: Fundraiser to end violence against women and girls: a presentation of the Vagina Monologues; $30, or $25 (seniors and students)