No more words – it’s time for action: ITUC International Women’s Day Statement

International Trade Union Confederation

stopGBVOn the occasion of International Women’s Day 2014, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is calling time on gender-based violence in the world of work. Violence against women at work, whether at their actual place of work or on the way to and from work, can take on multiple forms, including:

  •  Physical assault
  • Verbal abuse and threats of violence
  • Bullying
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual harassment
  • Economic violence Continue reading

Global Union Movement: Making Equality for Women a Reality

Global Union Movement: Making Equality for Women a Reality

As International Women’s Day approaches, the global labor movement is mobilizing to put teeth into the celebration’s 2014 theme, “Equality for women is progress for all.” Solidarity Center allies around the world also are getting set to highlight the struggles of working women with actions that include rallies by banana workers who are members of the union SITRABI in Guatemala and a conference honoring women workers from Jordan and Palestine. (Follow Women’s Day actions on Twitter with the hashtag #IWD2014.)

Two days after International Women’s Day, commemorated annually on March 8, union activists will take part in the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). There they will push for concrete goals to redress income inequality that focus on employment, well-being and security in large part by addressing gender inequality in the labor market and in social policies. Continue reading

Working Women Empowered: Building Strength Through Unions

Solidarity Center

March 4, 2013Women make up more than 40.5 percent of the workforce worldwide, according to the most recent data by the International Labor Organization. But their labor has not resulted in a similar increase in financial well-being.

Far from it.

Although women contribute 66 percent of the world’s work and produce 50 percent of the food, they earn 10 percent of global income and own 1 percent of property, a 2011 United National Development Program report finds. Women account for 70 percent of the world’s population living in poverty, according to 2010 UN Food and Agricultural Organization data. But as more and more join together in unions and allied networks, women are increasingly empowering themselves and each other in the struggle for economic fairness.

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Unions to Saudi Arabia: King Must End Slavery of Domestic Workers

8 March 2012: The international union movement is marking the occasion of International Women’s Day by writing to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on behalf 1.5 million women domestic workers calling on him to support laws which give domestic workers the same rights as all other workers.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, said domestic workers are excluded from labour legislation in the Saudi Kingdom and open to serious exploitation and abuse. Most workers are migrant woman from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippines and India.

“On International Women’s Day the International Trade Union movement and the 12 x 12 campaign for domestic workers rights are calling on Saudi Arabia to be the first country to ratify the ILO Convention on domestic workers,” said Sharan Burrow.

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Frozen in time: Gender pay gap remains unchanged for 10 years

International Trade Union Confederation


A new report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reveals that worldwide, women are paid 18% on average less than their male counterparts at work.

The report, “Frozen in time: Gender pay gap unchanged for 10 years” released on the eve of International Women’s Day, looks at women’s wages in 43 countries, twice the number of previous studies.

“For the last decade we have seen women’s wages hitting a road block. The pay gap remains frozen in time almost everywhere. Asia is the continent with the greatest wage differential between men and women with no progress made to close the gap for over a decade,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation.

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“On the move to Equality” ITUC launches new Arab trade union women’s network


International Trade Union Confederation

The ITUC is marking International Women’s Day, 8 March, by launching a new  Arab trade union women’s network, in the presence of  its General Secretary Sharan Burrow, and with the participation of  trade union women from eight Arab countries.

« It is an honour for the ITUC to launch this new Arab women’s trade union network in Tunisia, a country whose courageous revolution and unprecedented transition to democracy has brought the hope of greater social justice and freedoms to the whole of the Arab world.  From Egypt, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia, the women trade unionists here today are testimony to the front line role of women in the revolutions and reformist movements sweeping the Arab world » stated Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary. Continue reading

International Women’s Day: New Report Shows Second Wave of Global Crisis Hurting Women


International Trade Union Confederation

Women are facing higher unemployment, underemployment  and reduced working hours as a second wave of the global economic crisis impacts female employment, reveals a new report issued by the ITUC  (International Trade Union Confederation) today, International Women’s Day.  The report, “Living With Economic Insecurity: Women in Precarious Work” shows that while the initial impact of the crisis was equally detrimental to men and women,  increasing numbers of women are now either losing their jobs or being forced into more precarious, temporary, and informal forms of work. Globally the official unemployment rate for women of 7% masks a harsher reality, with a massive increase in the numbers of  “working poor”, those, mainly women, whose jobs do not provide enough to meet basic needs.  Overall, the ranks of working poor swelled by more than 100 million people due to the crisis, with around 1.51bn people, half the world’s workforce, now in vulnerable employment.

“This report, drawn from a broad set of global and national indicators, shows how the crisis is far from over, especially for women.  Much of this impact is hidden, due to deficiencies in employment statistics.  Much of it is also a direct result of women still being treated as second-class citizens at work. Too many women are denied the right to join unions and bargain collectively for better job security, wages and conditions, such as domestic workers or those working in export processing zones (EPZ). Cuts in public expenditure made with no consideration of their gender impact are having the biggest impact on women, both through higher unemployment and reduction in crucial services such as child care,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

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