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OTTAWA With a federal election looming and womens wages lagging, its time for the federal government to make good on its promises to Canadian women, says Judy Darcy, the head of Canadas largest union.

The prime minister seems to have rediscovered the just society but the experience of Canadian women shows theres a long road ahead of us, said Darcy. For many women, theres been as much backsliding as progress under this government.

Judy Darcy is National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, representing nearly one-half million workers, the majority of them women. She was speaking in support of the demands of the World Womens March which has drawn thousands of women from across Canada to Parliament Hill and a lobby of federal politicians in the days leading up to an expected election call

Women still earn only 70 cents for every dollar men earn and theyre still more likely to live in poverty and to retire into poverty, said Darcy. Theyre increasingly struggling with heavy workloads, juggling several part-time jobs, scrambling to balance work and family without quality child care or community services to support them.

CUPE has launched a major national campaign to raise womens wages. Through bargaining, organizing and mobilizing, CUPE is working across the country to improve womens wages and end violence against women and will be active in the upcoming election.

Theres a significant gender gap in Canada and given this governments policy, theres good reason for that. Women arent looking for a quick tax break or cuts to vital public services, Darcy said. Were looking for serious action on the part of governments and employers to improve wages and provide the services we need to ensure that our children and our parents can live in dignity.

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