Statement: International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women but it is also a call to action to improve women’s equality.  

We are living through a pandemic that has been disproportionately shouldered by women and the care economy. When the world stopped, schools closed, child care vanished, jobs changed, and work for women multiplied and intensified.  

The upending of our respective worlds led to the ‘shadow pandemic’ (increasing rates of family violence) and the ‘she-cession’. The “she-cession” because, unlike previous recessions, women bore the brunt of job loss, the shedding of jobs were concentrated in female-dominated, service, care, restaurant, and education sectors. As women were losing jobs and being thrust into action to continue to disproportionately shoulder the care load, we were simultaneously told to not forget about self-care.  

We do not need ‘self-care’. 

We need community care. 

On a systemic level or big picture, community care is focused on well-funded public services that considers the whole person, from cradle to grave. It would include, universal healthcare, childcare, preschool to post-secondary education, long-term, and palliative care. And ensure we had reproductive justice, equitable wages, and access to clean drinking water.  

To guarantee we move our systems toward community care models we must collectively act locally and within our own power. It is about creating a strong community network of women to lean on each other and lift each other up, to push for the changes we need in our communities and families.  

We are calling on all PSAC Prairies identified women to consider joining their local women’s committee where community care is at the centre of our work. Women’s committees in our union ensure there is a space and platform for women union members to act and make change not only within the union itself but the broader community.  

We would like to close by saying thank you, thank you to all the women across Canada and the globe who continue to break the bias even when the odds are continuously stacked against us.  

In Solidarity,  

Sherry Hunt  
Regional Women’s Committee Representative  
Prairies Regional Council 
Public Service Alliance of Canada 

Marianne Hladun  
Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies 
Public Service Alliance of Canada