To mark the International Women’s Day and strengthen women workers participation in the trade union movement, a number of BWI affiliated unions carried out events on 8th March 2017. Trade unions in different States of India i.e. Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and New Delhi organised mass meetings and awareness campaigns especially focusing on the theme of “Stop Gender-based Violence at Work – Unions Make a Difference”. Similarly in Nepal, partner unions convened women workers’ rallies calling to end gender-based discrimination.
In India, in Rajasthan State, the AHBWU organised a mass meeting whereas in Kerala State, the KKNTC organised district-level events in Ernakulam and Alapuzha Districts where women workers took out a march voicing slogans on women empowerment that was concluded with a public meeting. In the Indian Capital, New Delhi – MAMU organised a women workers’ meeting and in the most populous State, Uttar Pradesh, the UPGMS organised a women meeting at the Dhanoli Child Labour School, Agra and awarded appreciation certificates to selected women leaders and functionaries to honour their work. In Bihar State, the HKMP convened a meeting of its Self-Help Group members. In Southern India, AIKTMS in Tamil Nadu State conducted a public meeting at the State Capital – Chennai. Elsewhere in South Asia, in Nepal – CUPPEC organised a mass women workers’ rally in Kathmandu. These union events received good media coverage both in print and visual media.
Speaking on this occasion, R.C. Khuntia, Chair, Indian Affiliates Council congratulated the women leaders and women workers “The role of women at work and in the community cannot be underestimated and they are at par with men. Efforts need to be made at every level to provide equal opportunities to women, strengthen their capacities and provide space in the trade union structures at various levels to realize their full potential. The BWI affiliated unions should prioritize women workers’ issues on the union agenda and strive for becoming gender-fair unions.”