Trudeau government to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership on International Women's Day despite impacts of 'free trade' on women

The Council of Canadians London chapter marched last weekend to celebrate International Women's Day.

The Council of Canadians celebrates International Women's Day!

Our ally Judy Rebick has written, "The history of International Women's Day (IWD) is a history of the struggle of ordinary women to throw off the burden of the oppression and discrimination they faced. From the beginning, IWD was about a more inclusive women's movement and a more feminist political movement."

This year, we take note that the Trudeau government will be signing the so-called "comprehensive and progressive" Trans-Pacific Partnership on IWD.

The U.S.-based National Organization for Women (NOW) has commented, "There have been two established patterns with free trade agreements: they tend to export jobs abroad and depress wages. This makes the Trans-Pacific Partnership a feminist issue. When wages are lowered, this disproportionately affects women who are still subjected to gender-based pay discrimination and persistent patterns of low pay in occupations dominated by women - especially women of color - such as retail, food service and day care/nursing home and home health care attendants."

And Global Justice Now has noted, "By increasing competition with international workers and discouraging unionization, ‘free’ trade agreements tend to lower wages, worsen working conditions and trigger job losses. People on low-income and insecure employment such as textiles, care work and food services, will be hit the hardest. Two-thirds of these low-income jobs are held by women and of women of colour in particular."

The Council of Canadians London chapter took part in their local march on March 3. Global News quoted chapter activist Roberta Cory stating, “We need to keep [gender equality] front and centre - keep pushing for ‘$15 and Fairness,’ keep pushing for childcare and respect for women - because we are on a roll."

We have also noted in this campaign blog that opposition to both the Kinder Morgan pipeline and the Site C dam can be rooted in a feminist analysis.

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.