Mar 082024

In celebrating International Women’s Day, 2024 the Communist Party of Canada calls on all those who endorse the rights of women and who recognize March 8 as a day to celebrate past achievements and commit to continue the struggle for women’s rights, to make this year’s events a resounding call for progress on the main issues that stand between women and their right to full equality.  

There is no equality possible in the face of war and genocide.  Peace is a requirement for equality.  Women are always a victim of war, their rights are ignored and delayed as their homes and their families and their communities are destroyed.  We call on all progressive individuals, women’s organizations, trade unions, solidarity and peace organizations and community groups to demand:

  • An immediate and comprehensive cease fire in Gaza. 
  •  An end to the blockade stopping food and fuel, water and medicine getting to Gaza. 
  •  An end to the genocidal policies of Israel and a just resolution that guarantees the Palestinian people their rights as a nation.  
  • An end to the war in Sudan where, once again, women and children are the victims of the fighting that has engulfed the nation, spurred on by international capitalist interests competing to gain or maintain access to the immense wealth of Sudan via the warring military formations.  

The Cuban people have suffered over 60 years of an illegal blockade.  This is an extra-territorial imposition on the nations of the world to force them to abide by a policy decision of the United States.  Not one other state would consider attempting to impose such a policy and not one other state would abide by such a policy decision if it were made by another state.

  • We call on the United States to abide by the will of the world, stop the criminal blockade of Cuba.   
  •  We demand that our own government protest this illegal imposition of foreign law, to re-instate normal trade relations with Cuba and to insist that Canadian Banks, financial institutions and corporations obey Canadian law or face penalties.

In 2024 Canadian women continue to face the crisis of rising prices.  Working women, whose wages have not kept up with inflation, face a daily struggle to keep themselves and their families fed, housed and heated in an economy that has seen steep increases in the price of food, fuel, rents and mortgages.  Food banks are not a solution to higher food costs.  Charity is not an answer to social problems.  Along with steep increases in prices there as been steep increases in profits and in the wages of the CEO’s and corporate executives of those companies who live off our need for food, fuel and housing.  

To confront these problems, we demand:

  • That the price of food and fuel be rolled back.  
  • That all rental properties be covered by rent control provisions.
  • That corporate profits be taxed at double the current levels.
  • Raise the minimum wage to cover the cost of living. 
  •  Ensure the income from all benefit programs, – disability, welfare, government pensions, etc. – covers the cost of living for those who must live on them.   
  • Build social housing and tell owners of vacant units, use it or lose it.  We can not afford to have housing lying vacant when so many are homeless.

2024 is going to be another year in which the struggle to maintain and improve social programs will have to continue.  Governments across the country have signalled their intention to continue to privatize health care, to push the wedge of privatization further in education, and other social programs.   We call on all progressive forces to:

  • Work together to halt these insidious efforts to steal our hard-won programs from us.  These programs are our wealth and corporations cannot abide that we should own something from which they could make a profit. 
  •  We must not just defend our social wealth from corporate theft.  There is so much that we continue to need.  While universal, quality, free public childcare is the real answer to the significant demand for childcare, at this moment, we need the $10 childcare program to expand the number of spaces to meet the demand.  

Far too many, if not most, women across Canada have their right to reproductive choice sharply and disastrously curtailed by the social failure to provide facilities to exercise their choice.  A right is not really a right if there is no mechanism available to exercise that right.   We call on the federal government to:

  • Ensure women’s right to reproductive choice really is a right by demanding that provinces create sufficient, accessible, facilities to provide the necessary services.

Women in Canada continue to occupy the low wage sectors, the non-unionized sectors, the poor or non-existent benefit sectors of the economy.  In 2024 we commit to:

  • Struggle to improve the rights of women workers, to paid holidays, to overtime pay, to pensions, to sick days and to family days.  
  • Struggle to win a living minimum wage and for the right to unionize without threat of individual or collective reprisals.  

Workers, and working women particularly, won some important victories in 2023.  There were strikes actions in the public sector and in the private sector, in the federal public service, in education and health care, food stores and the auto sector.   There was a general strike in Quebec, at one point 560,000 public sector workers – 70% of whom are women – were off the job demanding improvements to their employment and to their standard of living.  Many of the settlements reached levels of pay increases not seen since 1991.  

These strikes and the benefits they produced are to be celebrated this International Women’s Day.  However, not everyone saw their living standards improve this year.  Given rising inflation, rising costs of living, many more face crushing challenges.  

For the Communist Party of Canada, International Women’s Day 2024 is a day to renew our commitment to struggle for improvements in the lives of all working women – their wages, their working conditions, their lives, their rights. 

For the Communist Party of Canada, it is a day to renew our solidarity with women around the world who struggle for their national rights, their liberation, for an end to war and for the right to live in peace.

International Women’s Day is a day when we gather together, finding our friends, our allies in this struggle for women’s rights and celebrating with them to unite our voices in our demands for peace, solidarity with the women of the world, improvements in our living standards and in our rights. 

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada