Gender Justice

Submitted by ADonahue on November 12, 2021

Registered nurses know that gender justice is fundamental to our ability to effectively advocate for patients, demand safe workplaces, and build healthy unions. Social well-being depends on care work that has historically been performed by women and gender-oppressed people. Yet, employers, lawmakers, and society at large systematically devalue, underpay, and under-protect the gendered labor that provides life-sustaining care to human beings and society. Nurses’ fight for gender justice is a fight for equity of opportunity, conditions, safety, collectivity, health, and dignity for all people regardless of gender. When nurses rise up for gender justice as workers, they make hospitals, their communities, and the world more fair, safe, and just. Nurses who mobilize, organize, and bargain for safe and sustainable jobs, workplace respect, fair pay, and equitable protections increase their voice at work and their ability to advocate for patients.  

Union nurses are first-hand witnesses of the way that gendered violence and oppression intersect with racism, xenophobia, and economic inequality. Gender-based injustice harms our patients’ health and makes it more difficult for us to provide the highest quality care. When our women and other gender-oppressed patients experience discrimination, cuts in reproductive health services, inflated pricing practices, and stigma, we know we must use our collective power to create structural and institutional change.

Unions in which all members are included, represented, given opportunities and respected regardless of gender, race, or sexuality are stronger. At the local, state, national, and global level, we must challenge gender oppression as we continue to build relationships, strategies, solidarity, and power in our workplaces and communities. This includes advocating for universal voting rights, supporting policies that increase women’s and gender-oppressed people’s autonomy such as expanded family leave, and working in solidarity with social movements to create sustainable, regenerative, feminist economies that prioritize care and climate justice. Nurses have the strength, the skills, and the power to play a special role in the movement for gender justice for our patients, our fellow nurses, and for our communities.

Nation’s largest union of nurses calls on U.S. Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act

NNU urges senators to take a stand for reproductive health justice and codify protections established by Roe v. Wade, ensuring a patient’s right to control their own body, and support the suspension of the filibuster to hold the vote.

National Nurses United
July 5, 2022

Nation’s largest union of nurses condemns Supreme Court overturn of constitutional right to abortion

As a union of health care providers dedicated to advocating for the best interests of our patients, NNU opposes any efforts to restrict our patients’ control and choices over their own health care and their own bodies.

National Nurses United
June 24, 2022

Nurses applaud decision to end Texas investigations of trans youth and their families

National Nurses United today applauds a Texas judge’s decision to stop child abuse investigations into transgender youth and their families on the grounds of providing gender-affirming care.

National Nurses United
March 11, 2022

Caring with pride

As Pride month comes to a close, we recognize a critical aspect of the work that registered nurses do throughout the year to support LGBTQ+ health: allowing patients to wholly be themselves.

National Nurses United
June 28, 2021

As Covid cases continues to surge, nurses fight gender bias in California labor law

Nurses often have to jump through hoops — while sick or hurt — to receive paid time off for work-related illnesses or injuries. And after all that effort, nurses can be denied coverage.

Bonnie Castillo, Executive Director of National Nurses United
February 10, 2021

Nurses are marching for change

Unionism and feminism go hand in hand. Just ask union nurses. Our women-dominated profession stands up against a billion-dollar health care industry every single day, and using our collective power, we win critical protections in our union contract — from fair wages and benefits, to protection from workplace harassment and violence.

Bonnie Castillo, Executive Director of National Nurses United
January 17, 2020