Each year International Women’s Day gives us all the opportunity to reflect on both the important progress made toward gender equity and the work that still needs to be done in Canada and around the world.

Gender parity and pay equity have increasingly been part of the Canadian public conversation over the past few months with Prime Minister Trudeau’s appointment of a cabinet with an equal number of male and female ministers and the House’s passing of a motion introduced by the NDP establishing a greater focus on pay equity.

ACFO is encouraged by this progress, but we realize there is still much more work to be done. As a professional association and bargaining agent for a group with a female majority, ACFO is especially mindful of issues that disproportionately affect women in the workplace, including the equal pay for work of equal value, flexibility and work-life balance and prevention of discrimination and harassment.

Our mandate is representing the FI Community in their workplace, but we believe our responsibility to women is global. ACFO will continue to uphold this responsibility through our own work in labour relations and collective bargaining and by lending our support to larger international groups like Public Services International, who regularly speak out against gender inequality around the world and have recently released their own message calling for a “transformation of the world of work and gender relations.”

Similarly, we believe Canada can and should both acknowledge the progress it still needs to make, while acting as a leader in the international community by using its voice to encourage support of women’s issues and protection of women’s rights.