Equality is a core principle of the labour movement in British Columbia, Canada and around the world, and women activists have been at the forefront of the collective effort to put that principle into action. To mark International Women’s Day this year, CUPE BC urges all activists and leaders in the progressive movement to learn more about the history of women activists in British Columbia.
The BC Labour Heritage Centre has put together an exceptional piece titled “18 Historic Milestones and Incredible Women in BC Labour” and we strongly encourage everyone to read it, here. One of the women featured in the piece is CUPE BC’s first woman president, Muriel Overgaard (1976-1980.)
The better we understand our history, the better equipped we are to fight to dismantle barriers to full participation and equal rights for all.
Women are leaders throughout our union–in CUPE District Councils, on CUPE BC’s executive board, on the CUPE BC Women’s Committee, and as members of local executives throughout the province.
International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of the past and ongoing efforts to build a world where all people are truly equal. The values and activism that women bring to our movement are integral to CUPE BC and the entire labour movement.
As trade unionists and labour activists, let’s use our collective power to push our movement and our society to empower women, believe women, hire women—and unionize women workers, and let’s recommit ourselves to stopping gender-based violence wherever it exists.
To see CUPE National’s statement on International Women’s Day, click here.