As members of a profession which is predominantly women, nurses are especially conscious of the need to continue the effort to secure justice and equality for girls and women everywhere. That is what March 8, International Women’s Day, symbolizes.
While nurses throughout the developed world have fought for improved working conditions and achieved fair wages through collective bargaining, many Canadian women continue to fall behind.
A study released on March 7, 2016 by the University of Alberta-based Parkland Institute shows Alberta has the largest gender income gap in the country – 41% compared to the national average of 33%.
Alberta women working full-time, full-year are on average making $31,100 less than their male colleagues each year, the Parkland Institute report says.
The report encourages Albertans to strive for gender equality in the legal, economic, cultural, and societal spheres. These recommendations are reflective of the United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2016 - Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.
The origins of International Women’s Day have been traced to labour disputes in New York City in 1857 and 1908, where 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 UN urged all countries to set aside a day to celebrate women’s rights.