26 May 2019: Members of the BWI International Women’s Committee (IWC), women BWI World Board members, and trade union women leaders of BWI affiliates met in Brighton, United Kingdom to assess BWI’s global strategic plan focusing on Convergence 4: Global Campaign for Gender Equality and develop an action plan leading to the 5th World Congress in 2021.
Participants at the meeting discussed key global political and economic trends impacting women and assessed the impact of these trends on women in the BWI sectors. Based on this assessment, the women discussed the global 2019-2021 action plan as well as shared regional strategies and campaigns approaches.
A key campaign highlighted during the IWC meeting was the BWI global campaign to stop gender-based violence noting the upcoming discussions at the upcoming 2019 ILO International Labour Conference where women and trade union leaders will fight for the adoption of the ILO Convention against violence and harassment in the world of work.
“The ILO is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Our strong commitment to fight for the ILO Convention against violence and harassment in the world of work is our birthday gift to the ILO,” stated Rita Schiavi, Chair of the BWI International Women’s Committee.
She continued, “Regardless of the outcome of the discussions during the ILC, we will continue our fight to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence in the workplace.”
Although the BWI sectors is traditionally a male-dominated industry, there are significant number of women in construction, wood and forestry industries particularly in the informal sector in the global south. In addition, in recent years there has been an enormous increase in the number of women entering the trades resulting in enormous potential for organizing. The IWC reaffirmed its commitment to push for organizing campaigns targeting women to further strengthen BWI.