Category Archives: Women

On the 107th Anniversary of IWD For Feminism and Socialism!

A women’s conference of the Socialist International in Copenhagen in 1910 launched International Women’s Day globally in 1911.  Trotskyist parties, including the predecessor organization of Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste in the Canadian state, re-launched the modern IWD in Canada forty years ago, in 1978.

We did this for good reason.  Women’s oppression is rooted in the capitalist system.  As with heterosexism, racism, environmental destruction and war, capitalism profits from discrimination, dispossession and wasteful plunder of natural resources.

We march for bread… and for roses too!  We do so in the face of escalating attacks on basic human needs – a vicious austerity drive linked to an unstable, unequal and unsustainable economy.

Establishment claims that women have ‘achieved equality’ are nothing but a sick joke.

• On average, women are paid 18 per cent less than men – $8000/year less than males.

• 27 per cent of employed women work fewer than 30 hours per week, more than double the 12 per cent of men who work part-time.  7 out of 10 part-time workers are female.

• Low paid women increasingly hold more than one job to survive.  56 per cent of multiple job holders are women.

• Aboriginal women and girls suffer shameful economic and social conditions.  They are systemic victims of racism, inequality, physical assault, disappearance and murder.

• Most women still bear the double burden of doing most of the domestic labour, in addition to work outside the home.

While trillions of dollars are wasted globally on corporate bail-outs and militarism, women and girls are denied adequate education, economic opportunities, clean water, health care, reproductive choice and personal security.  From Palestine to Haiti, from Libya and Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan to Colombia, women and children are disproportionately the casualties of wars and military occupation in which Ottawa is directly involved or complicit.  Millions of women and men have demonstrated against the Trump agenda which threatens to increase sexism, racism, homophobia and exploitation on all levels.

The #MeToo and It’s Time! movements have shaken the world.

To transform society our demands must be clear:

• No money for war.  Imperialist hands off Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela.

• End all subsidies to Capital.  Tax big business and the rich. Fund health care, education and social services. Provide universal, free, quality child care.

• Enforce equal pay and equal access to good jobs. No two-tier wages/benefits.

• Restore funding to women’s social justice organizations, emergency shelters and legal aid.

• Build quality social housing.

• Raise E.I. rates and ensure real access for part-time workers.

• Legislate an $18/hour minimum wage.  End precarious employment.

• Phase out the Alberta Tar Sands development.  No new pipelines.

• Conscript corporate profits to fund the conversion of industry, business, homes and schools to green energy power.

• For public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy under workers’ and community control.

• For a Workers’ Government.  Fight for working class political independence and for socialist policies in labour unions and the NDP.

• Women’s Liberation through Socialist Revolution.  No socialism without Women’s Liberation.

If you agree, join Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste today.

Are Top Female Bankers role models for equality?

by Elizabeth Byce

A few female bankers have broken the glass ceiling. They are now being paid millions of dollars a year. Is this a gain for women? Is it a triumph of feminism?

To be sure, the rise of the women’s liberation movement put pressure on the patriarchal capitalist rulers. They dusted off some seats at the corporate board table for women – women who are willing to play by the rules of elitism and exploitation.

As a result, Janice Fukakusa, former chief financial officer of the Royal Bank of Canada, enjoyed a salary of $4.67 million in fiscal 2016, down from $4.96 million for 2014. Jennifer Tory, also of Royal Bank, got $4.29 million in 2016; Colleen M. Johnston of the Toronto-Dominion Bank received $3.1 million; and Diane Giard of the National Bank of Canada made $2.84 million.

Nonetheless, there are still no female Chief Executive Officers at Canada’s largest banks. And the highest paid females still fall short of the highest paid CEOs: Royal Bank’s David M cKay at $11.5 million; Bank of Montreal’s William Downe at $10.6 million; and Scotiabank’s Brian Porter at $10.1 million.

But women are still making progress, right?

No, not where it matters to most women, those whose labour is paid, or not paid at all.
On average, women are paid 13 per cent less than men in Canada. In fact, the gap would be bigger if male workers’ wages had not stagnated, or fallen over the past two decades.
27 per cent of employed women work fewer than 30 hours per week, more than double the 12 per cent of men who work part-time. Seven out of 10 part-time workers are female.

Low paid women increasingly hold more than one job to survive. 56 per cent of multiple job holders are women.

Female post-secondary students are a majority of those who bear onerous student debt after leaving university and college.

Deep inequality is rooted in the capitalist system. It can be overcome only by ridding the world of that outmoded system, with all its oppressive and destructive tendencies. Bourgeois feminism won’t accomplish that. Only socialist feminism, based on the political self-activity of working women and men, has that as its aim.

How “inspiring” is Trudeau’s “feminism”?

by Barry Weisleder
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the tens of thousands of people who participated in the Women’s March across Canada, including over 60,000 in Toronto, on January 21.

“Congratulations to the women and men across Canada who came out yesterday to support women’s rights. You keep your government inspired,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter. Continue reading How “inspiring” is Trudeau’s “feminism”?

Gender Wage Parity – more than a century away

It will take 118 years to close the wage gap between women and men if present trends in pay inequity persist, the World Economic Forum predicts.
The global pay gap between the sexes narrowed by a mere 3 per cent over the past decade, visibly stalling after 2009–10, according to the forum’s annual Global Gender Gap report.

The slow progress means women are only now earning what men earned nearly a decade ago: $11,000 on average, while men’s average pay has nearly doubled to $21,000 worldwide.

The report, which also looks at women’s progress in education, health and political empowerment, found Canada ranked 30th, and the United States was 28th out of the 145 countries surveyed. Syria, Pakistan and Yemen occupied the bottom of the list.

Women now outnumber men in universities in 100 of the countries surveyed, yet few of them hold the kind of skilled or leadership roles that come with bigger pay cheques.

Why inequality? Just ask yourself this: where does the money go that corporations save by not paying equal wages to women?