TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 8, 2013) - Today marks International Women's Day, and the culmination of a week-long global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women. March 8, 2013 is an opportunity to reflect upon the work of women activists, past and present, and to consider the work still left to do to advance the cause of women's equality.
The theme for International Women's Day is The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum. This theme applauds the progression of women's rights but warns against complacency or the assumption that the work is done. Women activists recognize that equality for women can never be fully achieved until women all over the world experience it.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) joins with women's organizations, unions and workers everywhere to both celebrate and advocate for women. OSSTF/FEESO recognizes the important gains that unions have made for women throughout Canada, and laments the on-going anti-union sentiments expressed by both the federal government and the provincial Conservative party under Tim Hudak. Provisions for pregnancy/parental leave, family care leave, and pay equity legislation all point to the important role that unions play in the lives of women and their families. It's clear that an attack on unions constitutes an attack on women's rights and their struggle for equality.
"As educational workers, our members play an instrumental role in advocating for the rights of girls and women," said OSSTF/FEESO President, Ken Coran. He added, "OSSTF/FEESO has a long history of promoting equality for women. Through our partnerships with organizations like the White Ribbon Campaign, coalitions working on pay equity and childcare, as well as our involvement in campaigns such as One Billion Rising, Sisters in Spirit and Women's Memorial Marches, we continue to bring attention to the struggle for women's rights."
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.