October is Women's History Month | National Union of Public and General Employees

October is Women's History Month

 Women 4 Change focuses on urging governments to invest in, not cut, services that improve women’s lives such as child care, elder care, health care and education. 

Ottawa (04 Oct. 2013) – The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is urging its members to join with Canadians across the country in celebrating Women’s History Month in October.

The Persons Case

The federal government of Canada declared October as Women’s History Month in recognition of the fact that on October 18, 1929, Canadian women were officially declared persons under law.

The Persons Case is a legal history milestone in Canada.  Five Alberta women, known as the Famous Five:  Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby, requested that the Supreme Court of Canada declare women were persons under the law.

After the Supreme Court denied the case, the Famous Five appealed to the British Privy Council.  The Privy Council described the exclusion of women as “a relic of days more barbarous than ours” and overturned the Canadian decision.  On Oct 18, 1929, Canadian women became persons under the law at last.  This date has since been celebrated as Persons Day in Canada.

From the Famous Five to female leaders today, women continue to raise our social conscience, give voice to issues of inequality and work to build a future free of discrimination, violence and poverty.

Women 4 Change

Today, Canadians increasingly struggle with the issue of income inequality.  There is an ever-widening gap between those that have and those that do not.  Income inequality hurts all Canadians leading to increased numbers of citizens living below the poverty level, increased homelessness and leaving families struggling just to exist. 

Women are particularly hard hit as the gap between the rich and the poor increases.  Women continue to earn less than men for the same work, and they continue to shoulder more of the care giving responsibilities.  They are deeply affected by the attack on public services which they often access more than men.

As part of its All Together Now! Campaign to fight for quality public services, tax fairness, good jobs and labour rights, NUPGE has developed an initiative called Women 4 Change (W4C).  W4C focuses on urging governments to invest in, not cut, services that improve women’s lives such as child care, elder care, health care and education.  It raises awareness of the economic insecurity faced by Canadian women who are often lower paid and employed in precarious jobs.

Our Women 4 Change engage in conversations and deliver presentations to co-workers, union activists, friends and neighbours about the need for public policies to reflect the needs of Canadian women.

Let’s build on the strength of the women who came before us and work to create a better future for Canadian women of all ages.   History has proven that if we raise our voices together we can make change!  Join us in becoming a Woman 4 Change and fight for a future built on equality and fairness!

The Fairness  Express

NUPGE’s Fairness Express is travelling through the Atlantic provinces this fall.  The big green bus with Only Fair is Fair.  Income inequality is not!  written on its side, is stopping in communitiesand engaging people in conversations about growing income inequality.

Members of NUPGE’s components NSGEU, NAPE, PEIUPSE and NBUPPE are talking to people at local events, shopping malls, hockey and football games to hear people’s stories and encourage people to build a movement interested in protecting and promoting the core value of fairness for all Canadians.

Along the way, women and men are donning Women 4 Change t-shirts and engaging in conversations about women’s equality and how to raise awareness of the need for change.  If you are resident of an Atlantic province we encourage you to look for the big green bus, grab a Women 4 Change t-shirt and join the conversation!


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE