Jessica K is a PSAC member with CIU Local 20040 and an executive steward for the Women's, Youth, and Education Committees. Recently, along with other PSAC Women, she attended the “Summer Institute for Women” in Victoria. Here are some of her thoughts ~ enjoy.
With the celebration of Labour Day this month, I found it interesting that we have a holiday solely designated to celebrate the labour contributions our workers have made, implying a celebration of equality as well since women make up so much of our workforce. Yet at the same time, we still have days that recognize professions dominated by women, such as Secretaries Day. Labour Day is also typically the last day that women wear white. The topic of equality was interesting to me in this respect, and I wondered why there were still so many associations that were clearly delineated towards women when we fight so hard to be viewed as equals.
I came to the following conclusion, that women most definitely need to be accepted and treated as equals. At the same time, we must also recognize that there are differences between women and men (including their job duties), which are based on longstanding traditions. Not all of these are bad, and we should celebrate the differences in which we take pride and elevate the status of women in the workforce. In this respect, celebrating Secretaries Day is taking recognition of a profession that is almost solely dominated by women, and recognizing their contribution in that area. Labour Day is more inclusive, and celebrates our workforce, including the way in which women are represented in this workforce.