On October 22, we proudly wore our purple scarves while attending the World March of Women event organized in Fredericton. The 300 plus participants, from all walks of life, showed their solidarity with women the world over. Similar events were organized throughout the world.
The World March of Women is an international feminist action network connecting grassroots groups working to eliminate poverty and violence against women. The first world march was held in 2000.
The Labour movement has a long history of advocating, along with civil society groups, to improve the lives of women. The New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL) Women’s Committee recently celebrated its thirtieth birthday, its first meeting held on October 7th 1980.
Pursuing equal pay for work of equal value (pay equity), access to quality, affordable, publicly-funded and non-profit child care programs and increasing minimum wage to a level that will provide a decent standard of living continue to be priorities for the New Brunswick Federation of Labour.
A lot has changed within the labour movement with respect to women’s participation. In 1964, Dorothy Power Lawson, member of Local 636 of the International Typographical Union, was the first woman to be elected to an office with the NBFL. She was elected to the position of trustee, a position that she held for many years. Today, by contrast, several women hold influential positions with the New Brunswick Federation of Labour. Forty percent of the members of the NBFL Executive Council are women.
On behalf of the 46,500 members of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, thank you to the organizers of the 2010 New Brunswick World March of Women. We look forward to receiving the report coming out of this event, which will include a list of priorities for the women’s movement for the next ten years.
Sandy Harding is the Vice President responsible for Women’s Issues with the NB Federation of Labour. Michel Boudreau is the President of the NB Federation of Labour, Labour’s central voice in New Brunswick.