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IndustriALL women stand by quota demand

25 May, 2016IndustriALL Global Union’s Women’s Committee is determined to defend its resolution calling for a 40 per cent quota for women in IndustriALL, after meeting in Frankfurt, Germany on 24 May.

The women met on the eve of IndustriALL’s Executive Committee meeting, also taking place in the Frankfurt headquarters of German trade union affiliate, IG Metall.

In the last reunion before Congress in October, the women said they reaffirmed their commitment to the resolution made at the Women World Conference in Vienna in September 2015.

Proposed amendments to IndustriALL’s statutes have been drafted and, if approved by the Executive Committee, will then be put forward for approval by Congress in Rio de Janeiro. The Women’s Committee wants the statutes to include the 40 per cent quota for women’s representation and participation at all levels of IndustriALL.

IndustriALL’s assistant general secretary and director for women, Monika Kemperle, said:

“Trade unions need a more female face. We need to encourage women to join unions and once they are members to become active in them. The clock has turned back on workers’ rights – so we need to look very carefully at how women can be involved in unionization. We need effective representation of women workers.”

As well as the resolution, three IndstriALL regional women conferences – in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Sub-Sahara Africa - also adopted a target of 40 per cent representation of women in IndustriALL

Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL general secretary, said: “This is a target that I fully support. We need to change the face of the global union network. We need more women in our unions, industries and in leadership positions. This is the right thing to do.”

Christiane Benner, the first female Vice President in IG Metall’s 125-year history, also addressed the Women’s Committee in Frankfurt, telling participants “If you want the best, you cannot do without women.”

She added that it was changes to IG Metall’s statutes and guidelines in 2000 that provided the binding conditions to increase the number of women in IG Metall’s structures. She said IG Metall put particular emphasis on training programmes that were 50 per cent women, as well as listening to women’s needs and demands.

Members of the Women’s Committee also put forward proposed amendments to IndustriALL’s Action Plan.

Christine Olivier, Women’s Committee co-chair, summed up the meeting saying: “This is not a takeover by women. We just want representation in IndustriALL.”