International Women's Day

March 12, 1998

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International Women's Day
dated March 12, 1998

International Women's Day
They come in growing numbers each year, from all walks of life, from across the country and around the world, to speak in one voice, in a show of solidarity to celebrate, International Women's Day. It's a day about action and a day when women can share experiences and mobilize for change. It originally was born out of the struggles by women in the sweatshops in New York's garment district on March 8 1857. Women and children poured out of the factories onto the streets to demonstrate against appalling low wages and 12 hour shifts.

This year in a number of Canadian communities, the CAW women's network hosted events for women activists. More than two thousand women gathered on the steps of Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto to celebrate women's achievements.

Michelle Belle

"I think it's a really good time for women to show their voices and ban together and be strong. For me, every year I come and it makes me feel proud to be a woman, and gives me energy to fight for women's causes."

Shelley Carter
"When you come to International Women's Day, a woman at International Women's Day, you feel like you belong to the greatest club in the whole world. It's just the best feeling."

For the first time Shelly Carter brought her children to the International Women's Day rally because she feels a need to educate her daughter now about the daily inequalities women face. The sight of women marching through the streets of Toronto with their children made a telling statement about their status in our society. It's a clear indication that women won't settle for anything less than total equality with men. However there are forces in business and government working hard to prevent that goal from becoming a reality.

The CAW opposes these forces by loudly denouncing their actions such as the deep service cuts made in the name of deficit reduction by our federal and provincial governments. They threaten women's right, workers' rights, social programs and quality health care. For Leslie Montgomery, these cuts impact all parts of her life. They have created a new, meaner and less tolerant society and women are the victims. It has given International Women's Day a new meaning.

Leslie Montgomery
" The woman who chose to be a working mother and the need to recognize the validity of that, in raising future generations. The need to protect her children when the family unit breaks down and she has to sustain herself and her children. Lifestyles, personal safety, not being afraid of the word "No" and not being afraid of the dark."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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