International Women's Day: March 8

February 16, 2009, 4:37 PM EST

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On March 8 CAW members are urged to celebrate International Women's Day - marking the economic, social, cultural and political achievements of women. They are also asked to reflect on past struggles and accomplishments and to re-energize for the future.

Julie White, CAW Director of Women's Programs, said it's a time to prepare for the challenges ahead.

"We need to remember that since taking office in 2006, Stephen Harper and his Conservative minority government have destroyed what it has taken women decades to build," White told CAW Local union leadership in a recent letter.

"In the previous term the Harper Conservative government declared that women were equal and then promptly cancelled the early learning and childcare program and then cut $3.7 billion from children's programs. He then continued his attack on women's equality by cutting funding to women's programs and services, closing 12 of the 16 Status of Women offices and then removed the word equality from the SWC mandate," White said.

Today women still earn less than men in every sector of the economy. Women, who work full-time, all year, earn only 70.5 per cent as much as men. Women of colour earn only 64 per cent and Aboriginal women an appalling 46 per cent compared to men, she said.

White is urging women on March 8 to re-commit once again to making change and making sure that issues women care about from child care to good paying jobs are on the political agenda.

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