Each year, International Women’s Day aims to recognize and celebrate women’s achievements at the social and cultural as well as the political and economic levels. While celebrating women’s progress towards equality and equity around the world, the day also serves to remind us that there are still struggles ahead.
We know that since the beginning of the pandemic multiple forms of inequality experienced by women have intensified.
Knowing that several sectors of the labour market are predominantly occupied by women such as restaurants, hotels, education, health, etc., some of our sisters have suffered job losses or reduced hours and see their income decrease considerably, which affects their quality of life and that of their families, not to mention the psychological stress that this situation causes.
Others are on the front lines, including health care workers, service workers, retail workers and truck drivers. For them, the hours of work have increased, but the working conditions are sometimes more difficult. In addition, their chances of being exposed to COVID-19 are very high and there is a constant fear of infecting their families.
For all these women, the invisible workload as well as the mental burden has increased.
In addition, the frequency and intensity of violence against women has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. Confined at home to telework, or because of the loss of their jobs, women who experience domestic violence are isolated with their abusers almost 24 hours a day.
The women’s movement has been fighting against these inequalities, violence and injustices for decades. Although we have won many victories over time, the current crisis makes it clear that what we have managed to gain is precarious and fragile.
Now, more than ever, we must mobilize for a feminist recovery, to raise awareness and to take actions that reflect our values, our common vision and our leadership so that we are listened to and things change in a sustainable way.
President of Teamsters Canada and International Vice President
Member of the Teamsters Canada Executive Board and President of Local Union 847
Vice President, Women’s Representative on the Quebec Federation of Labour Executive Board