International Women’s Day 2016 #PledgeForParity

International-Womens-DayInternational Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day – observed globally, also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

IWD has been observed since the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical changes… like women in the work force! Women worked outside the home in factories, on farms, in offices, as teachers and much more. Of course they earned far less than men, no matter that their work was often exactly the same. And their work was precarious and often dangerous.

In 2016 the value of women’s work cannot be denied or debated and the issues of gender parity, equal access, and pay equity cannot be ignored. Even today, depending on where they live, *Canadian women  earn between 74¢ and 82¢ for every dollar a man earns doing work of the same value.  For indigenous women and women of colour, the wage gap is even greater. The World Economic Forum estimates that it will take until 2133 for the world to entirely closes the economic gender gap.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights” Gloria Steinem

Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take concrete steps to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

International Women’s Day is about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – both globally and at the local level. Join the international call for gender equality; do your part, take the pledge.   Add your voice  by using the hashtag #PledgeForParity      If you are in Whitehorse, make sure you pop by the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre to help them celebrate their 40th Anniversary on March 8th, and visit Yukon Women in Trades & Technology’s IWD Celebration with Yukonstruct. We’re overdue for action and we are overdue for parity.

On International Women’s Day and beyond, 
I pledge to …

Until there is true equality for women in all areas of our lives, there will be more work to do.

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Together for Safety

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May 29th 2015 marked the start of a new relationship between women in Whitehorse and the RCMP.  Since 2013, Whitehorse women’s groups and the RCMP have collaborated to create an RCMP Safety Protocol entitled Together for Safety, with the shared goal of improving response services to women in Whitehorse.

In response to a recommendation in the Police Commission report, Yukon women’s advocacy groups formed a coalition to help create the TFS Protocol. Signatories include Les Essentielles, Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle, Yukon Status of Women Council, the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre, the PSAC Regional Women’s Committee and the PSAC Yukon Aboriginal People’s Committee. The work and collaboration took place over a year, ensuring the many voices were reflected in the finished product.

PSAC member Linda Moen was invited to represent both the Regional Women’s Committee & the Yukon Aboriginal People’s Committee on the newly formed coalition. Linda is a Federal employee, a mother and an aboriginal woman who lives in her First Nation community. Honoured and a bit apprehensive, Linda decided she had the support she needed from the committees to take on the task. She quickly learned that she had much to offer the discussion and learned a lot from the process.

When the Together for Safety Protocol was signed on May 29th  2015, Linda signed on behalf of both committees. As the Protocol takes effect, Linda hopes the spirit of the agreement informs interactions between the women of Whitehorse and the RCMP.

YEU wants to thank Linda Moen, the PSAC Regional Women’s Committee and the Yukon Aboriginal Peoples’ Committee for taking on this role in our community. It’s good to know this is the work our Union is doing, through the dedication and commitment of the committees and their members.