This International Women’s Day, CUPE is celebrating women’s leadership on the front lines. CUPE women have demonstrated incredible leadership throughout this pandemic, providing crucial public services that hold our communities together.

Still, too many women continue to face barriers to decent work, lower incomes and unequal shares of unpaid caregiving responsibilities. The pandemic has made these challenges worse, especially for women who are also marginalized by racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia.

For women on the frontlines, workplace violence and harassment has become more frequent and more severe. Many working from home had to do so with increased family responsibilities. Many women have also been forced to take on more unpaid care work over the last two years, with few accommodations from employers.

But CUPE women continue to fight. At the bargaining table, through political action, and on the picket lines, women are showing leadership and building solidarity to fight for stronger public services, pay equity and fair wages, and better working conditions. CUPE continues to argue that care work has been traditionally undervalued and underpaid and that the pandemic shows the urgent need to address this form of systemic discrimination.

At our recent National Convention, a comprehensive Anti-Racism Strategy was adopted to stamp out racism in every corner of our union’s work. Delegates also voted overwhelmingly to “support calls for trans inclusive feminism and speak out against transmisogyny, transphobia and hate in all its forms.”

In March 2021, the National Executive Board created the Safe Union Spaces Working Group to ensure CUPE has policies, practices and processes to prevent and address all forms of violence and harassment.

These historic moves make our union stronger – sending the message to all women members that they are valued and celebrated in CUPE.  

As we fight for women’s rights, we must recognize that all struggles for human rights and justice are interconnected. To achieve justice for all women, we must dismantle all forms of oppression that women face.

This International Women’s Day, CUPE invites members to:

Take action:

  • Commit to Wisdom2Action’s trans inclusive feminism practices.
  • Amplify the Canadian Labour Congress’s Future of Care Campaign and tell your MP to value care work.
  • Take steps to implement CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy in your local.
  • Send a letter calling for the ratification of the first global treaty on violence and harassment at work.
  • Demand more funding for women’s shelters and anti-violence services.
  • Support the campaign led by migrant workers at the Caregivers’ Action Centre.

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