Herstory Month –
celebrating women's achievements
"The great delight
from the beginning of Herstory has been the infinite range of women's
stories and works that have been discovered, uncovered, rediscovered"
- what are the names of the ‘Famous Five’ women? Stumped - don't
feel alone. Unfortunately, very few Canadians can
answer this question. During the month of October events across
Canada hope to bring Women's Herstory to life (the answer can be found
at the bottom of the page).
Even many women do not realize the rich
legacy left to them by a multitude of remarkable women who helped pave
the way for women everywhere to be able to pursue their dreams and
attain their goals.
achievements and contributions of women
Women's role in society has grown and
changed dramatically over the centuries. The sacrifices and
labour of the previous generations of women have won many of the
rights and privileges enjoyed by women today.
"We should remember and respect these
forerunners as well as honouring those who are working diligently
today to make significant contributions within their sphere of
influence," says James Clancy, president of the National Union of
Public and General Employees.
"Herstory has no end because the field
of women's history is still wide open. The great delight from the
beginning of Herstory has been the infinite range of women's stories
and works that have been discovered, uncovered, rediscovered."
October 2005 is an
especially busy Herstory month
On October 17, 2005, women all over the
world will follow the sun around the earth in an action called 24
hours of feminist solidarity. At noon, in all time zones on the
planet, women are encouraged to take to the streets to show their
support for the Women’s Global Charter for Humanity and the values it
stands for: equality, freedom, justice, peace and solidarity.
Since March 8th, 2005 – International
Women’s Day – there has been a world relay of the Women’s Global
Charter for Humanity. The Charter is a proposal to build a world where
exploitation, oppression, intolerance and exclusion no longer exists
and where integrity, diversity and the rights and freedoms of all are
The Charter has traveled to 50 focal
points around the world, and women have organized popular education
activities and demonstrations to raise awareness of its content and to
challenge decision-makers in their countries. Other women have used
the Charter to organize debates with allies on the necessity to change
women’s lives if we want to change the world. And others are using the
Charter to support their daily campaigns to resist exclusion, violence
PSI Pay Equity Week
– From October 3rd-7th, 2005
2002, PSI (Public Services International) adopted a 5-year pay equity
campaign, which was endorsed by the World Women’s Committee.
PSI has been active in developing union
awareness about the issue – and notably, the ILO (International Labour
Organisation) has agreed to support a series of tripartite meetings on
pay equity, culminating in an international high-level expert’s
meeting in 2007.
There is no country in the world that
has yet achieved wage equality between men and women.
“The continuing wage gap between women
and men doing work of equal value needs to be closed up and
eradicated”, stated National Union President James Clancy. “Pay Equity
legislation needs to be proactive and move into the 21st century of
labour relations and instill the rights of all workers, regardless of
gender. Pay inequity is discrimination – plain and simple.”
The Famous Five
The Famous Five were all Albertans:
Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy
and Irene Parlby. They overcame tremendous obstacles, especially in
their role in the Persons’ case (recognition of women as persons), and
they were all very politically and socially active - particularly for
In October 2000, a monument of the
Famous Five was unveiled on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The Famous Five
are today celebrated both as liberators of women and as builders of
the Canadian nation. NUPGE
For more information:
Women's issues and
the National Union
PSI Pay Equity Action Week
World March of Women
Web posted by NUPGE:
19 September 2005