Times Have Changed

4 Mar

Katie Didyk of Times Change Women's Employment Service

While February was Black History Month, the beginning of March marks another important event celebrating the achievements of a different minority:

Women.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and March 7-13 is International Women’s Week, a time to celebrate how far women have come in terms of human rights, but also how far we need to go.

This is not just in regards to the women in other countries who are suffering from severe inequality. Women in Canada are still being discriminated against, are still the victims of abuse, and still receive lower wages for the same jobs as men.

In talking to a number of support staff on the Humber campus, I found that no one was interested in doing anything for IWW. There was no enthusiasm; I doubt any of them knew when the week took place.

Katie Didyk, intake and outreach co-ordinator for Times Change Women’s Employment Service says the event may be ignored because people do not recognize the injustices that still exist for women.

“I think there’s that complacency that there have been great gains therefore everything is equal, but we have seen a decrease in funding for women’s programs,” she says. “And we still hear of discrimination in the workforce, it’s not as blatant anymore, but it exists.”

Canada, according to the World Economic Forum, dropped from 4th to 25th since 2004 on the gender gap rankings. Although it’s hard to quantify something like the gap, it’s still a staggering number that we should pay attention to in some capacity.

Organizations like Times Change, that foster growth and confidence in women looking for employment are helping to bridge the gender gap. This is why I chose to profile this organization in this week’s Humber Et Cetera.

Times Change is hosting ‘the Path to Employment Success’, an annual free breakfast for unemployed women and Times Change clients featuring five successful female speakers talking about their experiences getting to where they are.

Information about the event can be found on their website.

CARE Canada is another great organization looking to raise awareness for International Women’s Week with their string campaign. Kieran Green, Communications manager for CARE says: “There used to be a folk custom that people would tie a piece of string around their finger to remind themselves of something they didn’t want to forget. So for IWD we are trying to get all Canadians to wear a piece of string on their finger as a symbol that they remember everything women have accomplished, and everything that remains to be accomplished.”

Even if you’re not participating in a campaign, recognize the women in your life and show some appreciation for what they’ve managed to accomplish and the opportunities that they’re fortunate to have.

For other events in Toronto, and a listing of all global events for IWD and IWW, check out the official website.

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One Response to “Times Have Changed”

  1. Dorothy May 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    That’s great an all about closing the gender gap in the work world. Hats off to gender equality. There needs to be more done, in my opinion. Wearing a piece of string around our fingers is not going to affect change with our current situation as most of the people living in poverty in Canada are women. The type of employment a lot of women are seeking tends to be in the lower ranking jobs with low pay. I doubt that Times Change is in all its years of being a “women’s” agency has made any real difference in opening doors for women to higher paying jobs or non traditional employment. They are like any other federally funded employment centre that serves the unemployed; they do as they are told. Their mission statement really needs to be updated to reflect the true nature of their agency.

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