#2023WomensDay: Women lead the fight for fairness in the just transition

The Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) joins the global trade union movement in marking this year’s International Women’s Day by asserting that the struggle for gender equality is the struggle for climate justice. Carrying the theme: “Women for Fair Transition: Equality, Peace, Green Jobs,” we believe that the climate crisis is not gender neutral. While climate change affects us all, its negative impacts weigh the heaviest on women, deepening existing gender inequalities and making the world of work less safe and healthy for women workers. 

Incidents of how the climate crisis exacerbates gender-based inequality are abound. From the spike in the number of violence-against-women (VAW) cases following each and every climate-provoked disaster, women’s disproportionate responsibility in securing food and water, to workplaces, such as the forestry and construction industries, made more unsafe and unhealthier by erratic climate patterns, women workers are extremely vulnerable to the global environmental crisis. It also undermines the victories won by women workers against all forms of gender-based violence and inequality, and disrupts efforts to achieve just and lasting peace amongst nations.

Women workers are leading the struggle for fairness in the just transition to a green economy where equality, peace, green and decent jobs are essential virtues. The future largely depends on our collective ability to fight for a just transition to a sustainable economy that truly responds to the working people’s needs, protects the environment, nurtures a culture of global peace, facilitates women integration in all relevant industries, and creates decent and jobs for all. 

To support this position, BWI and its affiliates demand a fair transition that includes: 

  • Mainstreaming of gender equality and gender targets in skills development programs.
  • Equal access for women in the emerging green jobs and other opportunities. 
  • Social protection policies to ensure equal women engagement in the labour market amidst climate change.  
  • Peace on the planet and a gender-sensitive sustainable reconstruction of damaged territories.
  • Women`s full participation and leadership in the formulation, implementation, and monitoring of the just transition policy. 

Climate justice, fair transition and global peace are essential elements in realising a gender-equal future. Gender equality is impossible in a damaged and war-torn world. Gender equality goes hand in hand with the preservation of the planet.