IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

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International Women's Day: Women at Work and OHS

  • March 08, 2016

International Women's Day: Women at Work and OHS

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. However, the first National Woman's Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.

International Women’s Day has assumed a global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic areas.

For 35 years, the IRSST has been interested in health and safety of women in the labor market and the gender difference. Several documents were translated into English: 

Women Material Handlers

Many women work as material handlers, yet there has been little interest in this population because most material handlers are men. Some studies have noted significant differences in how men and women perform handling tasks, but such studies are few and far between.

This study analyzed the differences in how women and men handlers work.

Exposure to Chemical and Physical Contaminants: Sex-Differentiated Analysis

The occurrence of occupational injuries differs by sex. One of the main explanations put forward is the existence of clear differences in exposure in the workplace, stemming in particular from differences in the jobs held by men and women and the nature of the tasks involved. However, there is a lack of solid data to support this claim, and most traditional workplace analyses have been limited to reporting risks based on sex, but without identifying the reasons that might explain the observed risk differences.

This study explored the existence of differences in occupational exposure between men and women using existing epidemiological databases.