6 January, 2016Some 68 women leaders and members of IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliates in the textile, garment and mining industries in Myanmar have been trained in team-building and leadership skills.
The Confederation of Trade Unions in Myanmar (CTUM) in partnership with IndustriALL, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) organized the training in Yangon and Sagaing from 15 -16 and 18 - 19 December 2015 respectively.
The workshops aimed to increase awareness and strengthen women’s participation in leadership and decision-making positions, as well as deepen participants’ understanding of leadership concepts and principles. Participants also learnt basic skills in communication as well as how to facilitate meetings and group discussions.
In a session on sharing and group discussions, most participants said it was the first time that they has been able to share their situations as women and as workers. They raised issues such as occupation health risks in the workplace, working hours and low wages. They also said that despite their paid jobs they still had do all the house chores and take care of the children and elderly which usually hinder them from actively participating in trade union activities and taking leadership positions.
Sexual harassment, invisibility and multiple-burden were some of the concerns that were discussed which participants were not aware of. The women expressed their desire to learn more about these problems.
IndustriALL presented the advocacy for women particularly on gender quotas and maternity protection. The ILO explained core labour standards and instruments related to workers.
Participants formulated their action plans to increase women’s participation in trade unions and leadership positions through formation of functional women committees and through solidarity with other women workers to improve and respond to women’s issues and concerns.