Coinciding with the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, the Turkish Cement Workers’ Union (CIMSE-IS) held its 7th women leadership training in Alanya, Turkey. More than 150 women workers participated in the said training, which focused on sharing knowledge and skills on organising and collective bargaining.
Ivana Dimitrova from SGIP, Macedonia and the Vice-Chair of the BWI European Regional Women’s Committee, explained that trainings are critical for women as it aims to enhance women workers’ involvement in the unions’ leadership structures and different initiatives.
Similarly, CIMSE-IS president Zekeriye Nazlim said that the series of trainings is part of their union’s strategy to empower women workers and involve them in campaigns against gender-based violence and harassment.
He stated, “Our union’s workshop was designed to train women participants on how to capably respond to issues they face as workers in the national and international levels, such as the challenge of organising more women workers, as well as implementing principled, yet effective collective bargaining.”
The training also took time to stress the importance of ratifying International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work.
CIMSE-IS reported that the participants arrived at a consensus to support BWI’s campaign to ratify ILO C190. As an expression of their support and solidarity, the women participants held a “social media action” where they held campaign posters calling for the ratification of ILO C190 and a world of work free from violence and harassment.
Dimitrova stressed the importance of international solidarity among women workers.
“For many years, we have been fighting for greater women participation, inclusion and gender equality inside and outside our unions. It’s hard to work in this sector as a woman. But through our unity and solidarity, we are now reaping the fruits of our collective efforts and struggle. More and more women are now active in unions and in the fight for a better future. I would like to thank my sisters in CIMSE-IS for contributing to this campaign,” Dimitrova said.
However, Dimitrova said that “the struggle is far from over.”
“Much has been won, but much has still to be fought for and won. We will persevere. To all working women, we say, you are not alone. We will stand together,” Dimitrova remarked.