This year, women will celebrate International Women’s Day with a renewed sense of strength. In many places around the world women are taking stands against sexual harassment, and sexual violence. While in North America this is often connected with what is called the #metoo movement, it is also happening in countries as diverse as India, Ireland and Japan. We know that sexual violence is still common – in particular women who are Indigenous, racialized, trans, homeless, or sex workers are disproportionately at risk. In war zones, rape is a weapon.
This February 14th, as in past years, marches will be held across Canada to commemorate the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The February 14th marches demanding justice have been being held for almost three decades, but the current need for action is as great as ever before.
The Communist Party of Canada continues to stand in solidarity with the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and all those fighting for an end to the ongoing violence. We demand the government act now to deliver on long delayed promises to address the violence against Indigenous women and girls and to reset the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls.
The 38th Central Convention of our Party follows a major political upheaval in the recent federal election, and a new escalation of the global economic crisis which emerged in 2007-08. Initially, the Canadian economy was buffered to some degree by exports of fossil fuels and other natural resources, and because Canada’s megabanks were somewhat less exposed to the collapse in value of leveraged (re-packaged) debt. Now, the dramatic collapse in energy prices and the Canadian dollar are causing new job losses and rapid increases in the cost of imported products. The working class is paying a heavy cost for the turmoil of the capitalist system.
This March 8, International Women’s Day, is time to celebrate our history of struggle for equality, and to unite in action for a better and more just world. In Canada we celebrate the defeat of the anti-women Harper Tories, who shut down virtually every federal agency or service which supported women’s equality, closed Status of Women Canada offices, eliminated funding of women’s organizations which engage in advocacy, passed Bill C-36 (which endangers the lives of sex workers) and blocked legal avenues to fight for pay equity.