Women’s History Month: Looking back, moving forward

October is Women’s History Month in Canada, a time to reflect on struggles that we have won and to recommit to the ongoing fight for gender equity in Canada for all women.

Violence against women

PSAC, alongside Indigenous groups, advocated for many years for an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and finally this year the Inquiry’s report was released. It called on governments and all of society to recognize the magnitude of the problem and to end the violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The release of the report is just the beginning of the road towards justice. However, our union will continue to push for the implementation of the recommendations and continue to fight for justice for Indigenous women.

PSAC continues to push for leave from work for all those affected by domestic violence. Thanks to pressure from unions, the Canada Labour Code was recently changed to include ten days of domestic violence leave, but not all of it is paid leave. PSAC has proposed two weeks of paid domestic violence leave at a number of our bargaining tables, including with Treasury Board. PSAC will continue to fight for reasonable and robust collective agreement provisions that protect survivors of domestic violence. 

PSAC Gender Equity Taskforce

PSAC has been at the forefront of the labour movement’s fight for gender equity in Canada for decades. In recognition of barriers faced by women, PSAC launched a Gender Equity Task Force to look at ways to advance gender equity within our union. The Task Force is taking an intersectional approach to its work, recognizing that not all women experience gender inequities in the same way. To meaningfully address gender equity, we need to understand the barriers to women members’ participation and how these may differ for racialized women, Indigenous women, lesbians, bisexual women, trans women and women with disabilities.

Stay tuned for our Gender Equity Taskforce report which will be released in the coming months.

Child Care

Access to affordable child care is essential to all families and key to promoting women’s equality. For over 20 years, the PSAC has worked with child care advocates, women’s groups and labour to push the federal government to provide funding to help the provinces and territories and Indigenous communities develop a comprehensive public childcare system. Yet we are still not there.

During this election, PSAC is calling on the federal parties to make affordable child care a priority.  For more information and to take action, visit Child Care Now.

PSAC Women’s Conference 2020

PSAC’s National Women’s Conference is being held from April 3 to 5, 2020 at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. The theme of the conference is ‘Women have power: Let’s Use It’.  The deadline for registration is November 1, 2019.  Find out more and register here.   

PSAC remains committed in the fight for gender equity, whether it is for pay equity, access to affordable and accessible childcare, justice for Indigenous women or domestic violence leave. This October, let’s celebrate the incredible women in history that have paved the way for us today, but also recognize that we still have a lot more work left to do.

October 9, 2019