The CAW donated $100,000 to 50 women's shelters across Canada in conjunction with International Women's Day on 8 March 2012.
International Women's Day (IWD) is a day to celebrate and mobilize, a day to energize and strengthen the feminist movement for the future. It's a day to reflect on the advances women have made over the past century: the right to vote, to get an education, to earn a living, the right to lead and the right to choose, said Julie White, Director of Women's Programs.
On IWD, women from the Canadian Auto Workers union will join with other women at forums, marches and rallies in communities across the country.
"But as IWD celebrations go ahead on this day, it's critical to remember that the gains women have made are not secure - and that the assaults on gender equality in Canada have been broad and sweeping under the Harper Conservative government, past and present," she said.
Funding cuts to women's programs and services, attacks on pay equity, childcare and gun control all illustrate this government's disregard for a more equal society for women.
She urged CAW women to re-commit to using their power where it counts - at the ballot box.
"In the months and years ahead leading up to the next federal election we must work to renew and strengthen our fight for economic, social and political equality and refuse to be silent," said White.
"We know that every action matters - that one person, one group, one community can make a big difference. Women becoming involved in the political process are the key to change. Raising our voices and taking action ensures that issues women care about - from childcare, to pensions, to gun control, to good paying jobs - are on the agenda in the next federal election," White said.
The CAW donations will help, but it is the responsibility of all levels of governments to develop initiatives to end violence against women in our communities and in our workplaces, she said.
In addition to making an annual donation, the CAW is urging the federal and provincial governments to provide core funding to agencies which provide services to women and their children who are fleeing violent relationships.