UNA marks International Women’s Day, a time to think equal and innovate for change

Today is International Women’s Day, celebrated by women and men alike throughout the world.

As members of a profession in which women predominate, nurses are particularly conscious of the need to continue the effort everywhere in the world to secure justice and equality for girls and women that International Women’s Day symbolizes. 

UNA has long emphasized equality for all working people, regardless of their gender, in the way it represents its members and in the broader positions it takes issues in Canadian and Alberta society.

International Women’s Day began with the trade union movement and the struggle for workers’ rights, which, as UNA President Heather Smith has often said, “are the same as women’s rights.”

“International Women’s Day an opportunity for every one of us, regardless of our gender, to work to realize the potential and future opportunities that our sisters, daughters and granddaughters can experience,” Smith said.

The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change. 

“The theme will focus on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure,” says UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

“Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications,” UN Women says. “Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.”

Some groups are using the hashtags #IWD2019 and #BalanceForBetter in Tweets celebrating the occasion.

The origins of International Women’s Day have been traced to labour disputes in New York City in 1857 and 1908, in which workers protested the dangerous, overcrowded and exploitive working conditions of women in the garment industry.

The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911. In 1977, the United Nations urged all countries to set aside a day to celebrate women’s rights.

The symbols of International Women’s Day are bread and roses – the bread representing women’s struggle for economic equality and the roses their women’s continuing efforts for a better quality of life.