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Breaking ground on women’s issues

July 19, 2023
Image: A group of women march with flags from left to right with a sunrise sky behind them, and the walls of Quebec City. Some are wearing orange vests and yellow scarves.

“Don’t close your eyes. Don’t stay indifferent. As men and women, we all have a role here – and we can all take collective action,” said Anita Bryan, USW District 6 Co-ordinator, as she addressed hundreds of members and allies at the USW National Women’s Conference in October 2022.

Under the conference theme Women of Steel are Raising the Bar, Steelworkers from across the country gathered together in Quebec City to continue the important work of fighting for women’s health and safety and advancing women’s rights in their communities and the union.

Through various plenaries and equity caucuses, USW members heard from fellow Women of Steel who are active in their local unions and explored how they can push for real progress on equality at work, mental health supports and bargaining fair contracts, as well as how allies can properly support and advocate for the women in their workplaces.

Other highlights included remarks from Véronique Hivon, former member of the National Assembly
of Quebec, who spoke passionately about her experience as a leader in politics and the challenges
she faced when running for elected office – many of which mirror the same challenges that women face when trying to take on more leadership roles within the union.

Members also participated in a morning rally through the streets of Quebec City, in a powerful and beautiful display of strength, solidarity and respect for all those who are victims and survivors of gender-based violence.

Over the course of three days, the union continued its tradition of breaking new ground on women’s issues and participants left with a renewed passion to continue the vital work of educating, bargaining, lobbying and organizing for women’s health and safety, equality, leadership and inclusion. For photo albums from the conference, visit: usw.to/photos.

This article appeared in Summer 2023 issue of USW@Work magazine.

USW@Work magazine summer 2023

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