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La lutte continue/the stuggle continues: Child care and International Women's Day through the years

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Feminism: back by popular demand
Know Thy History: Looking back on Child Care
Childcare Resource and Research Unit
Publication Date: 
8 Mar 2012


This week's Know Thy History: Looking Back on Child Care looks at the history of International Women's Day and the continuing struggle for child care.


Why celebrate March 8th?
La Lutte!/ In stuggle!, 8 March 1977

"In the last few years in Canada, thousands of working class women, thousands of oppressed and exploited women, have renewed the tradition of celebrating March 8th as Internationa Women's Day.... Starvation wages, job insecurity, double workday denial of our right to work and to motherhood: these are the conditions of the oppressed and exploited women allies." 


Women march on Hill
Leader-Post, 9 Mar 1978

"Provincial cuts in social services and a moratorium on day-care construction have reduced services and potenial for women, [spokesperson Pat] Daley said. These policies 'keep women out of the work force.' The moratorium on day-care construction should end immmediately and a system of 24-hour free day care should be established, Ms. Daley said."

70 years later women persist
Bozica Costigliola, Ottawa Citizen, 9 Mar 1978

"In 1908 women marched in New York to demand equal pay, child care centres, the right to vote and improved working conditions. They got the right to vote but what happend to the rest? On Wednesday, March 8,, 1978, about 300 people gathered on Parliament Hill to hear speakers from women's groups voice demands similar to those sought 70 years ago during the first celebration of International Women's Day."


Women's day blossoms into an event filled week
Leader-Post, 8 Mar 1985

"Beginning in 1910 as a one-day celebration known as International Women's Day, March 8 has blossomed into a full-scale event-laden week of peace, pro-labor and pro-choice rallies....In Toronto, International Women's Day has become International Women's Week with the slogan "Still Ain't Satisfied: Women Organize for Change."


Overhaul day care Ottawa is urged
Montreal Gazette, 8 March 1986

"The federal government should set up a national child-care system and funnel more than $100 million annually into the system, a government-commissioned task-force report says. The child-care situation is 'critical' and must be replaced with a federal-provincial cost-sharing arrangement similar to the health and education systems, said Katie Cooke, who headed the task-force.... Opposition MPs, the Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association and other groups representing women and labor threw their support behind the report, which was released on the eve of Interernational Women's Day."

>> Further reading: It was twenty years ago today...March 8, 1986


On International Women's Day what should we be fighting for?
Guardian,5  Mar 2012

"When the Women's Liberation Movement formulated its list of seven demands in the early 1970s, I was a very young woman full of hope that I would be able to have a career and a family and that there would be 24-hour free childcare as the "sisters" said there must be. There wasn't.... So my wish for this generation of hopeful young women is affordable, quality care for their kids. (Yes, I've become more pragmatic with age. It should be free, but I know it won't be!)"
>> Guardian's full coverage of International Women's Day

Quebec's challenge is to make child care even better
Montreal Gazette, 8 Mar 2012

International Women's Day has become a day for taking stock of how well, or how badly, women are faring at home and outside of the home, in Canada and in other countries throughout the world.... Although Canada's overall female employment rate of 76 per cent surpasses the OECD average of 64 per cent, Canada's spending on child care, at 0.2 per cent of gross domestic product, compares badly with other OECD countries. Sweden spends 10 times that rate, and the United Kingdom twice as much.