On this International Women`s Day, the New Brunswick Federation of Labour wants to thank all of the women who fought and continue to fight to improve our rights. Women, and many men, have worked hard for the gains that women and girls have achieved.
Still more work is needed. Equality is not yet a reality for many women and girls in New Brunswick.
Too many women still face sexual harassment and violence in their homes, in their communities and in their workplaces. Not all women experience harassment and violence in the same way. Young women, Indigenous women and women with disabilities experience higher rates of harassment and violence. Sexual violence and harassment can be made worse by other forms of discrimination experienced by racialized and immigrant women, lesbian, bisexual women and trans and non-binary people.
Women also face wage discrimination in their workplaces. They are being paid less than men for work of equal value. In 2016, New Brunswick women earned 92 cents for every dollar earned by men. Wage discrimination happens no matter the level of education or whether women are working full-time or part-time. This wage is discrimination is happening because professions traditionally dominated by women are undervalued as compared to work traditionally dominated by men. This means that women earn less during their working lives and are more likely to live and retire in poverty. Adopting pro-active pay equity legislation that covers the private sector, where most women are working, would go a long way in reducing this gender wage gap.
Having access to quality and affordable child care is needed so women can get a decent job to support their families, build their career and further their education and training. In New Brunswick there are enough regulated child care spaces for 30 percent of kids. Finding child care is even harder for families with infants or children with special needs and those living in rural communities. The costs of licensed child care is often similar, if not more, than what a family spends on housing.
The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is calling on us all to join the fight to end pay inequity, violence and harassment against women and to improve access to affordable and quality child care so women can have more economic security. Together we can make a difference in improving women’s rights in the province.
The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is the central voice of organized labour in the province. We represent over 35,000 workers from every sector of the economy and from every community in the province.
For further information, please contact:
Kelly C. Way
NBFL Second Vice-President
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969