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Sexist policies, feminist resistance

Fredericton, March 8, 2024 – This International Women's Rights Day, we say: resistance! Over 125 people took to the streets of downtown Fredericton this afternoon in protest of the government's inaction on women and gender minorities' poverty in New Brunswick.

The march took place on the occasion of International Women's Rights Day, and was a collaboration between the Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick (RFNB), the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity and the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice. Participants joined forces to denounce the government's inaction in improving the living and working conditions of women and gender minorities in New Brunswick. This includes a lack of access to reproductive health care, precarious working conditions, pay inequity in the private sector... It's time to act!

Our demands: 

Repeal Regulation 84-20, Schedule 2 of the Medical Services Payment Act to authorize the reimbursement of abortions outside hospital facilities throughout the province;

"Our organizations have been sounding the alarm for years, and we don't sense any real willingness on the part of the government to change things. Four years after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we see that women, gender minorities and racialized people are paying a heavy price as hospitals are increasingly overburdened and the cost of living continues to rise," explains Geneviève L. Latour, RFNB Board Chair. 

Increase the minimum wage to a living wage and amend the Employment Standards Act to introduce 10 days of employer-paid sick days; 

"Women and people at the crossroads of oppressions are historically and statistically more likely to live in poverty and work atypical, low-income jobs. Since 2020, they've been severely affected by the biggest rise in the cost of living in 40 years, exacerbating already precarious working and living conditions in New Brunswick," explains Janelle LeBlanc, provincial coordinator of the Common Front. "How are they supposed to live with a minimum wage that's insufficient to cover basic needs and without paid sick days?" she adds.

 Adopt pay equity legislation for the entire private sector, municipalities, the care sector and universities;

"It's unacceptable that in 2024, women still earn less than men for work of equal value and sometimes, for the same work. Our society relies heavily on women-dominated jobs that are too often undervalued, underpaid, and increasingly occupied by a disproportionately racialized workforce," says Krysta Cowling, Chair of the Coalition for Pay Equity. "We need legislation to ensure that the right to pay equity is respected in the private sector.”

"A few months away from the next provincial elections, let's demand structural changes to improve working and living conditions. The benefits are wide-ranging, for people, companies, government and society as a whole," urge the groups.


There is a media contact available on this news item:

Janelle LeBlanc
Provincial Coordinator, Common Front for Social Justice