March 8th is a global day of recognition celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The earliest Women’s Day observance, called “National Women’s Day” was held on February 28, 1909, in New York City when 15,000 women marched through the streets demanding shorter working hours, better pay, and voting rights.

Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made.

Business Manager Mike Gallagher had a few words for this year’s International Women’s Day:

“I think it’s a very important day. It’s a day to celebrate the accomplishments of all women who fought very hard for basic human rights, such as the right to vote.

But there’s more work to be done for women’s rights. The union needs to do more. Recently I hired a female Business Rep., named Torie Coqu, who comes from three generations of union members. We hope she will be with us for a very long time.

I’d also like to congratulate IUOE International Representative Lorna Harnum, whose appointment to the Government of Canada’s Women in the Economy task force, was just announced today.

As a union, we can do more to encourage women to join our trade. We have a number of female crane operators and apprentices that have done very well. But there’s not enough women in the trades, and it’s important that the opportunity is emphasized to both boys and girls at an early age.”

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” -Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist, and activist

Karl Maria Stadler (1888 – nach 1943), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons