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IndustriALL women’s conference to debate union transformation for gender equality

13 November, 2019The IndustriALL Global Union World Women’s Conference is to debate a transformative agenda for trade unions to ensure women’s equal representation, participation and leadership, and to achieve gender equality in the world of work.

Under the theme, Our Future, Our Union, the Women’s Conference programme is designed to challenge the status quo, to challenge the way we see unions today, and to propose strategies to accelerate progress by tackling the systemic barriers to women’s equality. 

IndustriALL’s assistant general secretary, Jenny Holdcroft, said:

“Although we have seen progress in women’s representation and equality in unions and at work, the pace of change has been too slow. It is not enough to expect women to fit into union structures and cultures that have been shaped without them. As unions face the challenges of organizing women and young workers in a changing world of work, now is the time to fully embrace equality.” 

Over 200 women from IndustriALL affiliates from all corners of the globe will gather in Geneva, Switzerland on 18 and 19 November for the conference.

The event will ask women to forget their assumptions about unions, based on the models that we know today, and imagine what more inclusive unions could look like.

The conference will hear insights from women leaders about the state of gender equality in our unions and industries, and what unions are doing to improve it. Special focus will be placed on the achievement of the new ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work and the next steps to campaign for ratification.

Discussions will also address how unions need to respond to issues such as Industry 4.0 and its impact on women at work, as well as the challenge of organizing workers in new forms of employment and a changing workforce demographic, paying attention to the concerns and expectations of young women workers.

Finally, the conference will develop recommendations on how IndustriALL can drive a transformative agenda in its statutes and action plan, as well as how to fully engage male unionists and leaders in the fight for gender equality. 

The World Women’s Conference will be livestreamed on Facebook to allow women from far and wide to follow and participate in the debate.