BCGEU celebrates International Women’s Day with solidarity and action - BCGEU

International Women's Day (IWD) is recognized every year on March 8. It's an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and the extraordinary role women play in their families, workplaces, and communities across the globe. It's also an opportunity to acknowledge how much work remains to be done to achieve true gender equality and ensure all women everywhere are empowered to reach their full potential.

"In the labour movement we achieve progress through collective action and solidarity among working people," said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president. "Those same principles are the roadmap to gender equality-we have to realize and leverage the boundless power of women and our allies working together-and that's why there is no group better suited to the task at hand than union activists."

"When we take what we know and do as union activists and apply it to the challenges of gender equality-harassment, discrimination, bullying, gender-based violence-we will be an unstoppable force for progressive, sustainable change."

This International Women's Day, there are many ways you can take action for gender equality in your community. This list is not exhaustive, please contact your local labour council or women's organizations to ask about events in your area.


Period Promise

The United Way's campaign Period Promise takes place from March 7 to April 4, 2019, and the BCGEU is proud once again to get behind this important campaign.

Menstruation products are a basic necessity. But if you're living in poverty- or vulnerable in other ways -access to tampons, pads, cups or menstrual underwear can be challenging.

You can get involved by giving financially, donating menstrual products like tampons, pads, cups, menstrual underwear, or collecting donations in your community and workplace.

All BCGEU area offices and HQ will have donation boxes for you to bring your donations of menstrual products by April 1 and we will bring our collective donations to the United Way to show our solidarity.

Period Promise mobilizes all of us to be part of the solution and to help people live with the dignity they deserve. Visit periodpromise.ca to learn more.


International Women's Day 2019 Events


March 8 - West Coast LEAF Equality Breakfast. 7:00 am- 9:00 am at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. Tickets are $99-$110. Dr. Willie J. Parker will deliver the keynote at the 2019 Equality Breakfast. Dr. Parker is a reproductive justice advocate who travels as an abortion provider in Alabama and Georgia, and the author of the recently released book, Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice. His most recent work has focused on violence against women, sexual assault, and reproductive rights and justice through advocacy and provision of contraceptive and abortion services.

March 8 - VDLC Women's Committee Annual IWD Dinner at the Maritime Labour Centre. Women for Economic Justice: Taking on Poverty - with guest speakers from the BC Poverty Coalition, Viveca Ellis and Phyllis Joseph and entertainment by Jacky Arrah Yenga. Tickets $50 / $30 low-waged. For tickets go to Eventbrite.

March 8 - International Women's Day Fundraiser and Art Show- Bandidas Taqueria. On March 8, Bandidas will donate 100% of the profits from the sale of food and drinks to a variety of local organizations which serve women* and will launch an art show with feminist themes. Based on a community vote, they will donate proportionately to the following organizations: WAVAW, Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Native Women's Association of Canada, Girls Rock Camp, East Van Roasters, Pads4Girls, and WISH Drop-In Centre Society.

New Westminster

March 8 - Advancing Women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) is a day-long symposium on International Women's Day, March 8, that features panelists and speakers on topics such as "Why Does Industry need STEAM?" 'When Barriers Collide" and "Holding Space for STEAM" as well as a presentation on the role of emotion in learning and a keynote from Aoife Mac Namara, the Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Arts, and Technology from Simon Fraser University. The full line up of speakers is available here, as are tickets; lunch is included. Partial or full subsidies are available for those experiencing financial barriers- please email innovatenw@newwestcity.ca for more info.


March 9 - Surrey International Women's Day event is on Saturday, March 9, 2019, from 12:30-4:00 pm at Johnston Heights Secondary School, 153-50-99 Avenue in Surrey. This year's agenda includes a presentation on the herstory of International Women's Day, singing of "Bread and Roses" and other songs, keynote speakers, information tables, raffle items, a rose for each participant, entertainment and food.


March 8 - Bridge's International Women's Day luncheon- 11:00 am- 2:00 pm at the Union Club of British Columbia, 805 Gordon Street, Victoria. The 9th annual International Women's Day luncheon for an inspiring gathering with keynote speakers, networking opportunities, a delicious lunch, and solidarity for women's empowerment. Keynote speakers include: Laura Poland, General Manager at Mayfair, Sybil Verch, Senior Vice President, National Director, Wealth Management, Raymond James Ltd., and Penny Sakamoto, Publisher of Black Press. Fundraising activities at the event directly support women impacted by violence and trauma by sustaining healing, education, and employment programs at Bridges for Women. These programs are essential in ending the cycle of violence, poverty, and isolation for women in Greater Victoria and across BC. Lunch menu includes vegetarian options.