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Equality and health at the workplace, now!

28 November, 2016At a recent regional conference, South East Asia women reaffirmed their commitment to push for the ratification of the ILO Convention on maternity protection.

Around 35 union leaders from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand gathered to reaffirm their commitment to campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 183 on maternity protection at regional conference for IndustriALL women from South East Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, on 24-25 November. The conference reviewed the two-year project on gender equality and campaign on improved maternity protection. 

Results and gains from implementing the project over the last two years was shared. Capacity building has provided women workers with appropriate skills and information that has led to increased understanding of gender-equality, enabling them to integrate maternity protection in collective agreements.

Milestones achieved include initiating dialogue with Ministries of Health and Labour in Cambodia and Indonesia, integrating maternity protection in collective agreements in Myanmar, supporting a Senatorial candidate who authored the current legislative proposal on expanded maternity leave in the Philippines, and the attainment of a 40 per cent gender-quota in select affiliates in Indonesia and Philippines. 

Thailand joined the project in June this year and made women workers visible when leading  the ILO C183 mobilization of  almost 500 women and men in front of the UN offices in Bangkok on 7 October.

Participants highlighted the project’s positive contribution to the unity building processes both at a country and regional level and in achieving the 40 per cent target for women participation in IndustriALL.

Conference participants expressed strengthened commitment and the need to  continue working towards gender equality at all levels of trade union works and campaign towards ratification of ILO C183.

Plan of actions developed by countries were presented, common activities include:

•          Celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March

•          Continued campaign on ILO C183

•          Inclusion of women and gender provisions in collective agreement

•          40 per cent gender-quota at federation and union levels

•          Capacity-building of women

It was also agreed that IndustriALL women will lead the campaign towards ratification of ILO convention on maternity protection by expanding its network through building alliances with other organizations including other global unions.