UFCW 1518 Celebrates International Women’s Day: Honouring the Women of the Labour Movement

Feminist Activists

March 8th marks the observance of International Women’s Day worldwide.

Today, and every day, we recognize the pivotal role of women, girls, and all who identify as female or with womanhood, in shaping the social, economic, cultural, political and labour landscapes. This day has its roots in the labour movement, women’s suffrage, and the immense contributions women make towards the ongoing pursuit of fairness and equal opportunity for all. We also reflect on the barriers that have yet to be overcome — fundamental rights such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and safety, which are still not guaranteed to women across the world.

Madeleine Parent

 The labour movement has been significantly enriched by the contributions of women who have fought for workers’ rights and gender equality. The strides we’ve made owe much to the tenacity and leadership of women in the labour movement, particularly in Canada. Women like Madeleine Parent, an activist and union leader who championed the rights of workers in Quebec, facing imprisonment and enduring significant personal sacrifice in the pursuit of equality for women and workers.

Grace Hartman

Grace Hartman, the Canadian activist who shattered glass ceilings by becoming the first woman to lead a major union in North America when taking up the mantle of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) President. Breaking new ground in a field dominated by men, she not only advanced the interests of Canadian workers, but redefined the role of women in the labour movement.

Kim Novak

Our own President, Kim Novak, made history when after many years of service to our members, she was elected the first woman to lead UFCW 1518 in 2019. Over the course of her career, she has not only championed worker’s rights, but also empowered women across BC and the Yukon, exemplifying the role they can play in improving their communities.

These trailblazers have led by example, demonstrating the impact of dedication and advocacy in achieving change.

This International Women’s Day, UFCW 1518 reaffirms its commitment to building for inclusive and equitable workplaces, and to empowering the women of our movement as we continue to fight for a future where all people are treated equally.