More unions than ever have been in touch to share news of their participation in International Women’s Day this year.
IndustriALL Global Union affiliates from France to the Philippines took action on key issues affecting women: from changes to the retirement age in Switzerland, to maternity cover in the Philippines and violence against women in the Middle East and North Africa.
In Uruguay, IndustriALL unions joined a march of 250,000 people on the streets of the capital Montevideo on 8 March. An incredible gathering given that Uruguay has a population of less than 4 million.
In Sri Lanka, IndustriALL affiliate, the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees union, held a rally of more than 700 people to help inform low-paid and poor women workers in the north of the country about their rights.
Women are changing what unions campaign on: today more and more unions are campaigning for maternity rights, work-life balance, equal pay, and for recognition of the unwaged, caring work that women are still expected to do.
IndustriALL has a Congress commitment to work towards 40 per cent representation by women in all structures, and our sector and regional structures have male and female co-chairs.
This helps improve women’s representation in our affiliates, as they need to develop women leaders to send as delegates.
As Jenny Holdcroft, IndustriALL’s assistant general secretary, said:
“Our unions won’t change until we have women in prominent leadership positions, taking decisions that improve the working lives of men and women across the world. By including women, we make our movement stronger to fight for everyone.”