Women played an active and significant role in the last years’ uprisings’ across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. To further this activism, IndustriALL Global Union and regional affiliates are promoting women capacity building as a key issue.
Participating in the protest movement placed women at the front line of the struggle in the MENA region. However, women involvement on an institutional and representation level after the Arab Spring is still low. In line with a policy to enhance women participation in the global decision making process, IndustriALL recently conducted two seminars on promoting the capacity of female trade unionists in Tunisia and Morocco.
On 6 June, 18 women from IndustriALL Moroccan affiliates, together with counterparts from potential affiliates, participated in the national seminar on Promoting Women Participation in Trade unions in Casablanca. Participants identified key challenges, such as violence against women and the non-implementation of the women-related article of the Labor Law.
Women leaders from the six Moroccan unions affiliated to Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT) and Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT) formed the Moroccan Women Network, to serve as a platform for advancing women national cooperation, addressing challenges and planning activities.
On 9 June, 22 women trade unionists, representing IndustriALL affiliates from the Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT) attended the National Seminar on Women Involvement in Trade Union Work. Participants emphasized the need for more involvement at the institutional level of union work, as well as contributing to the UGTT current discussions on enhancing women position at union decision making process nationwide. Discussions were dominated by issues such as the lack of necessary protection for working women, and the deterioration of working conditions in subcontracting and precarious work.
The Tunisian Women Network was founded, calling for organizing a national conference on obstacles that face women union work, as well as discussions on the conditions of voluntarily retirement of women at the age of 50.
IndustriALL assistant general secretary Monika Kemperle said on the seminars:
The commitment of our sisters in Tunisia and Morocco puts IndustriALL in a better position to further enhance our ongoing support for working women in the MENA region.