28 March, 2013Oil sector union Syntepci has formed the first women’s committee since it was formed 40 years ago that was inaugurated at a joint conference of oil and textile workers held to commemorate International Women's Day.
167 women workers from the oil and textile sector attended the conference on 15 March 2013 to encourage increased participation of women in the union. Two women activists received an award recognising their contribution to their union, which will hopefully inspire activism among others.
Project Coordinator Charlotte Nguessan urged women to participate in programs to combat HIV and AIDS in their places of work and in the family, in particular addressing stigma and discrimination. She spoke of how women are often rejected by their families when they test positive and the negative impact of denial on the take up of treatment to prevent mother to child transmission. Nguessan suggested that partners need to be encouraged to go for testing together when a woman is pregnant.
There was also an information session on the new Marriage Act in Ivory Coast presented by two representatives of the Association of Women Lawyers. The law has advantages for men and women. It allows for men to benefit from the pension of his wife upon her death. It has also reduced income tax levels for married women with children and workers have already seen their wages increase as a result of the new law.