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Happy International Women’s Day

Canada’s regulated nursing workforce remains predominantly comprised of women. It’s estimated at 91% (90.6 % in BC) in the latest data from 2021 so International Women’s Day resonates with us. However, as we pointed out last month, the number of women in nursing leadership roles, especially Black women in leadership roles, continues to miss the mark.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2022 nearly 90% of the global nursing and midwifery workforce were women yet it was estimated that they hold only around 25% of leadership roles in health. “The gender gap in global health, particularly in leadership positions, is a topic that both genders need to be involved in resolving. This pervasive leadership gap between women and men in health can only be closed by addressing systemic barriers to women’s advancement.”

These systemic barriers have long been studied by those who have promoted and celebrated International Women’s Day, which has been observed in many parts of the world since the early 1900s. At a 1910 International Conference of Working Women Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs supported this with unanimous approval.

This year the global campaign theme is “Embrace Equity” which the RNFBC whole-heartedly supports.