TODAY Women mark International Women's Day in Toronto

Fighting for us ALL!

TORONTO, March 6 /CNW/ - Thousands of women will take to the streets today, March 6 for the annual International Women's Day rally and march, demanding good jobs and pensions, an end to violence and exploitation and the protection of public services, all under the slogan: Fighting for us ALL...and Still We March.

Women Working with Immigrant Women and the International Women's Day Organizing Committee will hold a rally, march and fair to celebrate International Women's Day today.

The rally will begin at 11:00am at OISE Auditorium, 252 Bloor Street, West; march at 1:00pm going East on Bloor Street, South on Yonge Street, to Gould Street; fair at 1:30pm at Ryerson, 55 Gould Street.

Where is the so-called economic recovery? In the month of January, Toronto's unemployment rate of 9.4% was higher than the nation's average of 8.3%. Women coming from low-income and marginalized communities face significant barriers to meaningful full-time employment and job security. Women of colour make less money, face unemployment more frequently and are stuck in precarious jobs. When women are financially insecure, they are more vulnerable to violence and exploitation.

Wages have failed to keep pace with the cost of living and raising a family, let alone saving for a long retirement. Women still don't earn equal pay for work of equal value, and there is a major gap in pension income between women and men.

"Now more than ever are women being affected by the downturn of an economy," said Gilary Massa, Equity and Campaigns Organizer with the Ryerson Students Union. "We are calling on both the federal and provincial government to ensure measures are taken to avoid the continued loss of jobs and to create good jobs for all, which includes having a pension so woman can retire with dignity."

The focus of International Women's Day-Toronto is to bring women of all ages, races, religions and ethnicities from across the GTA together to celebrate and demand good jobs for all and investments in public health and social services. "The increasing lack of child care and housing prevents women from actively participating in the labour force," said Andrea Calver from the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare.

"Not only are women constantly struggling for good jobs but for housing and spaces for their children in daycare. The government should be playing an active role in funding and ensuring that these services are available to all."

SOURCE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY TORONTO (IWD TORONTO)

For further information: For further information: Andrea Calver, IWD Organizing Committee, (416) 434-8031; Judy Vashti Persad, IWD Organizing Committee, (416) 895-0754

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY TORONTO (IWD TORONTO)

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