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London chapter & Maude Barlow celebrate International Women’s Day

The Council of Canadians London chapter hosted Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow for a social get-together on March 7 prior to her public forum in that community on March 8.

The chapter and Barlow sang the song “Bread and Roses” together in the kitchen of chapter activists Roberta and Rory Cory while holding an International Women’s Day banner made by chapter activist Julie Picken-Cooper.

One of the verses of that song is as follows:

“As we go marching, marching, we’re standing proud and tall.

The rising of the women means the rising of us all.

No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,

But a sharing of life’s glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.”

The song originated from a speech by American feminist, socialist and labour union leader Rose Schneiderman during a strike in 1912 in Massachusetts in which she made the appeal for both fair wages and dignified conditions.

Barlow is speaking today in London at Western University on the global water crisis and the battle for the right to water.

Barlow has highlighted that water is a women’s issue. To listen to her October 2008 speech ‘Water: The Most Pressing Women’s Issue’, please click here. Access to clean, safe drinking water is a fundamental right and women are disproportionately affected when governments fail to provide adequate water and sanitation services.

The Council of Canadians as a national organization also stands in support of the #DayWithoutAWoman general strike.

As noted on the organizing website, “On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women’s March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system–while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.”

One can take action in the following ways:

  • Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labour

  • Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses)

  • Wear red in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

The strike will take place in at least forty countries around the world.

The Council of Canadians denounces sexism and gender-based violence and harassment – and is committed to ending sexism and violence against women. We believe in gender justice and the protection of the human rights of gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans, Two-Spirit and gender nonconforming people.