26 April, 2018IndustriALL Global Union’s Women’s Committee met in Geneva on 25 April to discuss the goal of 40 per cent women’s representation and the campaign to stop violence against women in the workplace.
With a 40 per cent target for women’s participation, most of IndustriALL’s sector meetings are lagging behind. Since the last Women’s Committee in November 2017, actions have been taken to improve women’s representation.
- In the textile and garment sector, discussions are held with GFA brands on how to implement specific work on gender equality at the workplace.
- In mining, a network mapping has been undertaken to determine the ratio of women in the different sectors.
- At the 2017 electronics steering committee in Indonesia achieved 40 per cent women’s representation.
- The pulp and paper world conference adopted an action plan to improve representation and strongly supported the pledge.
With consensus on that women’s issues are union issues, regional reports showed concrete steps.
- The Asia-Pacific regional conference in July will focus on issues affecting women and youth.
- Sub-Saharan Africa has two platforms set up for communication between women (one in French and one in English), which have played a central role in solidarity and information sharing.
- Numbers on women’s participation are up in Latin America, with women making up 31 per cent of participants in regional activities, up from 19 per cent the previous year.
Hashmeya Alsaadawe, president of the Iraqi union Basra Trade Union Federation, reported on a 30 per cent women representation in Iraq, which is an achievement as they started from zero.
We need greater commitment from our brothers in the unions to empower women,
said Lucineide Varjão from Brazilian affiliate CNQUT.
Combatting violence against women in the workplace
Violence against women at the workplace is present in all IndustriALL sectors. It concerns all unions and all union members, men and women.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is campaigning for a binding ILO convention on gender based violence at work.
In June, the International Labour Conference (ILC) is launching a two-year long discussion on a possible adoption of a convention and recommendation on gender-based violence in the world of work.
Speaking to the Women’s Committee, Raquel González from the ITUC, stressed the need for unions to lobby governments and employers for a binding convention.
IndustriALL’s campaign to combat violence against women in the workplace has been gaining momentum since adopted in November 2017, with more than 50 affiliated unions taking the pledge.
Referring to the campaign to stop violence against women, Hashemya underlined its importance as aggression against women exists nearly everywhere in the Middle East, in all structures, in the workplace as in the home:
We are working on combatting the violence, and are making progress in the region.
Marie Nilsson, president of Swedish union IF Metall, told the Women’s Committee about what impact the #MeToo movement has in Sweden:
We have discussed sexual harassment with the employers and have set up a joint working group in order to tackle it in the workplace together.
As participants told of taking and implementing the pledge into the union structures, the Women’s Committee renewed its commitment to eradicating violence and harassment against women at the workplace.