Click here to find info on COVID-19

International Women’s Day 2024 Statement - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

Friday, March 8th is International Women's Day, and this year's theme is Inspire Inclusion.

Recognizing and celebrating the unique perspectives and contributions of women, two-spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people plays a pivotal role in achieving true gender equality, demanding the dismantling of barriers, and the challenging of stereotypes.
It's essential that we acknowledge the diverse experiences and challenges faced by women and gender diverse people, especially those from marginalized communities. Fostering environments that champion inclusivity for all is a priority for our union.
In fact, the goals of "Inspire Inclusion" are at the very heart of the work of our union's Women and Gender Rights Committee. In October 2023 we held our first conference in Fort St. John: Intersectionality – What does it mean? Nearly 100 members and activists – including trans and gender diverse members -- explored the critical intersection of gender rights and the labour movement. 
Women and gender-diverse people, particularly those who belong to marginalized communities, have faced unique challenges within the labour movement. To explore those challenged, our conference took an intersectional approach, including workshops on Domestic Violence at Work, Intersectionality: From an Indigenous Lens, and Disability Rights and Justice at Work among others. 
In addition to the conference, our union has stood strong in support of trans and gender diverse rights. Dozens of members stood proudly in solidarity with local 2SLGBTQIA+ union members and community groups to confront anti-trans hate events and actions at a number of locations around the province.
Our Women and Gender Rights Committee also passed recommendations to our union's Provincial Executive to deliver domestic violence at work workshops to members, component executives and cross-component committees and recommended that all components designate male identified members to receive Be More than a Bystander training. 
After hearing from the staff at the WISH Drop In Centre to better understand the extreme stigma and challenges facing sex workers, the committee passed a recommendation to support the federal and provincial changes necessary to decriminalize sex work and make sex work safer for the women and gender-diverse people involved. 
While we are proud of this work and these are steps in the right direction, we have so much further to go. Our union must continue to ensure that every person's voice is heard, that their accomplishments are celebrated, and their rights are safeguarded, regardless of gender.
"Inspire Inclusion" serves as a reminder that achieving gender equality is not only about addressing visible inequalities but also about recognizing and addressing the subtler, ingrained biases that persist in our societies. As we celebrate this year's International Women's Day, let us recommit ourselves to creating a world where every person is empowered, included, and valued.
In the meantime, please check out the events and resources listed below, including the CLC's informative new website about gender justice. Together we can forge women's and gender equality, raise awareness about discrimination, take action to drive gender parity and #InspireInclusion.
Happy International Women's Day!

In solidarity,

Stephanie Smith, President

Download list of 2024 International Women's Day Events here