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Improving maternity protection in South East Asia

1 October, 2015An IndustriALL project on gender and improved maternity protection in South East Asia has been launched. The project aims to increase knowledge and skills of women workers through organizing, campaigning and capacity building.

An IndustriALL project on gender-maternity protection started with the implementation in four countries; Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines. Regional secretary Annie Adviento and project coordinator Lorna Ferrer met with key officials of the four countries’ trade union councils and its Women’s Committees on 17-29 September to introduce the project.

IndustriALL’s affiliates in the countries have been campaigning on ILO convention 183 on maternity protection. Participants vowed to continue and intensify the campaign towards ratification of the convention through continued dialogue with parliamentarians and employers, as well as forging alliances with other organizations.

Women trade union leaders and members are encouraged to be more pro-active in their advocacy to lobby and campaign on improved maternity protection. Organizing women workers, strengthening women committees and development of pro-women provisions in the collective bargaining were some  of the highlights of the discussions during said activities.

The project will gather statistics on women’s leadership in trade unions which will form part of a study on women workers’ situation related to maternity protection, focusing on health of pregnant women and her child, breastfeeding provisions and work-leaves and cash benefits.

A brief summary of the study will be presented in November at a regional conference, expected to frame consolidated campaign strategies and concrete action plans to achieve improved maternity protection and strengthen women workers within IndustriALL.