On 23 November 2019, the 15th Asia Pacific Regional Women’s Committee (RWC) meeting took place at the CFMEU Trades Hall in Perth, Australia. The RWC reviewed progress made in the sub-regions specifically on Convergence No. 4 – Gender Equality. Discussions were held on the ongoing global and regional campaigns which includes bridging the gender pay gap, ensuring appropriate facilities for women workers across sectors and women in leadership positions.
Acknowledging actions in ending Gender-Based Violence, the RWC members and observers welcomed the adoption of new ILO Convention – C 190 on Violence and Harassment at the ILO Centenary celebrations earlier this year. Noting the strong efforts of trade unions to bring this Convention, Kim Kyung Shin, Chair of the Asia-Pacific RWC calling upon the unions in the region commented “This is a big achievement for the workers and especially women workers across the world; on behalf of the RWC, I urge unions in the region to strongly lobby for ratification of Convention 190 and accompanying Recommendation 206 in all countries and demand rightful implementation.”
One of the highlights of the meeting was discussions on “Women in the Trades’” campaign and the upcoming BWI Global Women in Trades Conference scheduled to be held in Madrid, Spain in June 2020. Speaking on this, Rita Schiavi, Chair, International Women’s Committee said, “We need more women in the building trades, we need to make the building trades an attractive sector for women to work, and we need to actively address the challenges women face in what is considered a traditionally male-dominated sector. I want to encourage the Asia-Pacific region to send a strong delegation to the BWI Global Women in Trades Conference that will be held in Madrid, Spain from 9-12 June 2020 to highlight issues and concerns from the region.”
The 15th Asia Pacific RWC meeting was held two days prior to the Asia Pacific Regional Conference. As a result, the committee deliberated extensively on the proposed amendments, resolutions including regional statute changes that would ensure 30 percent women representation in regional governing structures.