Equality Without Limits the chosen theme for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017. When you look at what’s going on in the world, even very close to us in the United States, you can’t help but realize that the gains made over many years are very fragile.
Even though in Quebec you may sometimes feel that equality between men and women is a done deal, it is unfortunately not the case. Women are more likely to work at the minimum wage, have atypical work hours, and work part-time (not always by choice). In addition, austerity measures are devastating public services and social programs, which places more and more social responsibility on individuals, and more specifically, on women. As for pay equity with regards to the predominantly female professional job classes, even if you agree with the Act’s objective, it is hard not to question the results! If the Conseil du Trésor were to finally accept our arguments and agree to offer us a satisfactory ranking for our 2010 grievances, then we could start believing in equality and fairness. For now, I think we have the right to be skeptical.
On March 8, let us be proud of the progress made for equality between men and women, but let us not be fooled. We must not let down our guard. Indeed, despite this progress, which is more obvious in Quebec than elsewhere in the world, nothing is written in stone, and the winds of the global right wing that also blow in Quebec could bring us some nasty surprises and limit equality.
We must carry on, in spite of the winds and tides, and advance towards true, boundless equality for all women, regardless of their language, religion, colour or nationality.
Wishing you a very happy March 8!