International Women’s Day 2022 – A Message from Your Secretary Treasurer

International Women’s Day is always a great day for reflection and celebration of women and all we bring to our communities, our families, and our workplaces. For me personally, it’s a time to think about all the women in my life, both personally and professionally, who have inspired me to reach beyond my boundaries and grow. This year’s IWD theme, #BreakTheBias, fits perfectly with reflections on boundaries.

In spite of what we know about the damage gender bias causes in our society and in our homes, we continue to grapple with breaking free from the bias that seems stubbornly synchronized with women’s very existence. And women in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, women of colour, and Indigenous women suffer bias and inequity on a much larger and more frequent scale.

The desire to work toward ending this kind of inequity was central in my choice to join the labour movement and make it my life’s work. I am proud of the battles we take on here at UFCW Local 401. And working to ensure safe work spaces exist for all our members, particularly those who are most at risk of abuse or imbalances in power, is something me and 401 President Thomas Hesse are committed to doing every day. I am proud to serve and stand with Tom because we have a shared commitment to breaking the bias that continues to exist for women.

“International Women’s Day isn’t just a symbol for change, it is a vehicle for change,” President Hesse reflects. “IWD serves to inspire those of us who fight for human rights every day, so that we never lose sight of who or what we are fighting for.”

I hope you’ll join me in committing to the ongoing work, well beyond today, in the urgent need to #BreakTheBias women face. This International Women’s Day, talk to your coworkers, friends, family, and your neighbours about your vision for change, and together we can create the change we seek.

Sincerely and in solidarity,

Richelle Stewart
Secretary Treasurer, UFCW Local 401