On October 18, Unifor members join Canadians in celebrating Persons Day. On this day in 1929, women won the right to be appointed to the Senate of Canada, finally being considered “persons” under the law. Since that time women have continued to work tirelessly to break down barriers to women’s full participation in public and political life. Using the lens of intersectionality, we can see that barriers can be compounded for women of colour, indigenous women, immigrant women, trans women and women with disAbilities.
Persons Day is a reminder that equality cannot be reached simply through persistence. There must be a legal and systemic framework that supports gender equity - programs and policies such as universal child care, employment equity, reproductive rights and effective measures to combat sexual harassment.
Recent events illustrate the continued presence of sexual harassment and sexual assault in women’s lives. Unifor is committed to addressing these issues in the workplace with strong anti-harassment language, respectful workplace training and joint investigation processes. We encourage all locals to ensure these measures are in all collective agreements.
It is only through eliminating sexual harassment and sexual assault that women will be able to truly take their place as persons with full rights in society.