UPDATED EVENTS: March 8: Unions are leading the fight for womens equality

International Womens Day: When our mothers entered the workforce a generation ago, job postings still listed higher wages for men ... -mens rates" ... alongside lower -womens rates," for people working side by side, doing exactly the same job.
While women have fought for and achieved many significant gains, the wage gap between women and men today remains staggering: almost 30 per cent. Women working full-time still only make 70 cents for every dollar men are paid.
On average, a Canadian woman earns $39,200, while a man earns $55,700. The gap is even more appalling for women of colour (68 cents / dollar) and worst for Aboriginal women (46 cents / dollar).
Surprisingly, the situation is worse for women with post-secondary education. The Canadian Labour Congress reports that in 1985, these women earned 75 per cent of what their male peers got paid. By 2005, this had dropped to 68 per cent.
Union women lead the way
In fact, having union representation was the best way for women to achieve fairness. For example, in 2006, unionized women earned an average of $21.85 an hour, or 93 per cent of the wage of unionized men, according to the CLC.
Thats in addition to the other benefits of being part of a union: better benefits, job security, protection from harassment, and maternity and parental leave benefits. However much we have achieved, its clear that more remains to be done.

HSA invites members to celebrate International Womens Day by taking part in various activities and celebrations taking place across the province this upcoming week. Do you know of an event you'd like to see added to this list? Email Yukie Kurahashi at  

City: Vancouver
Date: March 2, 5:30pm
Place: Fraserview Hall, 8240 Fraser Street
Event: Vancouver & District Labour Council Womens Day dinner with Judy Rebick
City: Surrey
Date: March 3, 12:30-4pm
Place: Queen Elizabeth Secondary, 9457 King George Highway
Event: Surreys 18th Annual International Womens Day 2012 -Healthy Women Healthy Planet": fun, snacks, entertainment, prizes.
City: Surrey
Date: March 3, noon-4pm
Place: 13723 Crescent Road
Event: Historic Stewart Farm International Womens Day Open House: Tour the 1894 farmhouse and rediscover the home from a womans perspective. You will learn about inventions, recipes, healing, fashion and how women have been trailblazers for centuries.


City: Courtenay
Date: March 6, 7pm
Place: North Island College Theatre, Courtenay
Event: Film screening: "A Powerful Noise" - sponsored by the Comox Valley Transition Society and World Community, admission by donation.

City: Vancouver
Date: March 8, 11:55am-12:30pm
Place: Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson Street side
Event: Amnesty International flash mob ... wear purple!
City: West Vancouver
Date: March 8, 7-9pm
Place: West Vancouver Library, 1950 Marine Drive
Event: Canadian Women Voters Congress ... casual evening of political discussion and networking. The theme of this year's International Women's Day is "Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures". Bring along a young woman in your life.
City: Fort St. John
Date: March 8, 7-9am
Place: The Cultural Centre
Event: Come celebrate the 101st year of International Womens Day with a hearty breakfast, live entertainment, and opportunities to network. 
Contact:  Call 250-785-6021 ext. 241
City: Vancouver
Date: March 8, 7-10pm
Place: Ironworks Studio, 235 Alexander St. Vancouver
Event: Strong Women Strong Jazz 2012 Jazz Concert: annual fundraiser for Atira Womens Resource Society
City: Victoria
Date: March 8, 11am-2pm
Place: St. Johns Hall, 925 Balmoral Road
Event: Bridges for Women fundraising lunch: 150 guests will celebrate IWD and the work of Bridges for Women, with speaker Maureen Maloney QC, first woman Dean of Law in BC, and currently Professor at the School of Public Policy at SFU.
City: Vancouver
Dates: March 8-20
Place: Waldorf Hotel, 1489 East Hastings
Event: HE[A]R ... A Celebration of Women in Sound: HE[A]R celebrates the diverse creative energy of women musicians and composers.
City: Port Alberni
Date: March 8, 7-11pm
Place: Alberni District Secondary School Auditorium (Show #1) Capitol Theatre (Centennial Gala Show)
Event: In Praise of Women: A fast moving variety show featuring local talent in all disciplines of performing arts; a fundraiser for the Alberni Community & Womens Services Society
City: Vancouver
Date: March 10, 2-5pm
Place: W2 Atrium, 111 West Hastings
Event: The BC Federation of Labour and the VDLC invite women to a family friendly celebration
City: Vancouver
Date: March 10, 2-6pm 
Place: PerformanceWorks Theatre, Granville Island
Event: Cultural panel on race, gender & representation
City: Vancouver
Date: March 13, 7-9:30am
Place: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia
Event: West Coast LEAF Equality Breakfast
City: Vancouver
Date: March 15, 8-11pm
Place: Roundhouse Performance Center 181 Roundhouse Mews (Davie/Pacific)
Event: Anu 10 the Mother: Live interarts performance featuring fifteen women artists in music, dance, spoken word and painting - a conducted improvisation.