"We are convinced that trade unions can organise women into trade unions, promote women to leadership positions and empower women to fight for a gender fair society where the work of women and men are equally valued," says Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the BWI.
Women’s work is highly undervalued around the globe. Millions of women live in extreme poverty and women make up the majority of the world’s working poor. Women face discrimination in the workplace when women and men are not paid the same wages although they carry out the same work or work of equal value.
In addition, women often have limited possibilities to develop their careers and few women can be seen in leadership positions. Women who work in the male dominated construction and wood sectors face serious challenges such as sexual harassment, wage discrimination and higher unemployment than their male colleagues.
Around the world the work women do is systematically undervalued – they earn less than their male colleagues and are often employed under more precarious forms. Furthermore, women are also discriminated within their own unions. The BWI therefore launches the global Value Women’s Work-campaign. See Women Almanac here
The campaign brings together women within BWI to advocate for greater gender equality through ensuring fair value for women’s work, at the work site, at home, and within the union.
We celebrate the 2016 International Women’s Day by calling on trade unions to organise women workers and empower and promote women in leadership positions. The proposed theme for this year’s International Women’s Day mobilization is “Empowering women to become leaders - Unions Make a Difference”.
Women make up a large proportion of the workforce in in BWI sectors and many are active both in the trade unions and in their communities. This year, the BWI launches the BWI Women’s Almanac which presents 12 women trade union leaders in BWI sectors around the world.
The BWI calls on its affiliates to:
Increase their women membership
Empower women to be more active in their trade union structures and take leadership positions
Include women in collective bargaining teams so they can ensure equal value of men’s and women’s work in collective bargaining agreements.