International Women's Day

March 9, 2006

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International Women's Day
International Women's Day
dated March 9, 2006

Hamilton, Ontario
March 8, 2006

       Women around the world including members of the newly formed Canadian Auto Workers union Local 555 at McMaster University, in Hamilton Ontario celebrated International Women's Day March 8th. Local 555 IWD Chair Karen Sutton and Local president Mina Sarajcic were encouraged by the turnout.

Karen Sutton
CAW Local 555

       "It's an important day for women and this was the first time we have ever celebrated it on campus, as a union, and I think there was a lot of excitement about that."

Mina Sarajcic
President CAW Local 555

       "I've seen women here that I have never seen before. I've never seen them at union events and I think we must have struck something in them to come out. And I think that is a very positive thing and I think it was done because we are part of the CAW and are able to host an event like this."

       While women have made progress, CAW Women's Director Julie White said there is still a long road ahead and government action is needed.

Julie White
CAW Women's Director

       "When you talk about issues like violence and housing and all of those issues it boils down to women's inequality. And if women are living in violent situations and there is no childcare for them what do women do? You know when people say "why do women stay?" they stay because they can't leave, because there are no decent paying jobs, because there is no childcare, because there's no affordable housing."

       Women can bring about more change according to, Charlotte Yeats, Director of Labour Studies at McMaster University, provided they join forces and work together.

Charlotte Yeats
Dir. Labour Studies McMaster University

       "You can't do things alone. You can't raise our wages alone. You can't end violence against women as an individual. You can't end poverty as an individual. None of this and what's amazing is women know that, that's why we group together around International Women's Day, why we belong to unions and that's why we formed the women's movement is because we recognize way before others that it is only in solidarity that we can make progress."

       Julie White added that solidarity enables women to step up one at a time and make a difference.

Julie White
CAW Women's Director

       "I got an e-mail from a woman today who is taking on an issue in Vancouver Parks Board because they didn't recognize International Women's Day in their municipality and she said " Julie that's wrong so I raised it." So it's those little acts of democracy that we all do every day, every woman in this room does it every day that makes for the big societal change."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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