Education International
Education International

Trade union delegation contributes to debates at UNCSW

published 2 March 2012 updated 9 March 2012

Trade unionists are deeply involved in discussions at the 56th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), being held in New York, USA, from 27 February-9 March. As a member of the trade union delegation, EI has contributed extensively at official panels.

EI at UNCSW official panels

EI Executive Board member and co-chair of EI Status of Women's Committee Teopista Birungi Mayanja, from UNATU, Uganda, participated in Panel 3, “Evaluation of progress in the implementation of the agreed conclusions of the 52th UNCSW on financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women.” The event focused on national experiences in implementing the agreed conclusions of this earlier UNCSW.

On 1 March, Judy Taguiwalo, from EI affiliate ACT, Philippines, was included in the list of speakers for Panel 4, dealing with “Progress in financing for gender equality from the perspective of international organisations and multilateral development partners”.

Both EI representatives addressed comments on the presentations made by government officials in their respective panels. Women unionists called for labour protections and decent work, and public services including education and training.

The trade union delegation is lobbying Governments, urging them to guarantee collective rights, including while implementing public policies, and to ensure that women in rural areas benefit from appropriate training so that they are able to participate in the designing of policies impacting them, their families and their communities.

All advancements achieved by the global women’s movement must be protected and rights recognised today must be guaranteed for all women, especially rural and Indigenous women.

Trade union views expressed in draft outcome document

Trade unionists also brought forward proposals for an alternative text for a draft outcome document, successfully lobbying Latin American countries on this document. There is a record number of participants in the draft group, i.e. almost 15 persons from all regions, and morning briefing sessions have 80 per cent participation.The 18 page-long document of amendments to the draft outcome documents, including wording suggested by the trade union delegation, was also a trade union lobbying group’s major achievement during the first week of the 56th UNCSW.

During the informative session on the priority theme for next year’s 57th UNCSW on violence against women, EI Executive Board member and Vice-President of EI Latin America Regional Committee Brigida Rivera, from CGEN, Nicaragua, met with the Executive Director of UN Women, the UN entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, Michelle Bachelet. They spoke about the importance of quality education and decent work, and Rivera presented Bachelet with trade union-proposed amendments to the 56th UNCSW outcome document.

A parallel event to the UNCSW on “Money-specific targeted budgets for gender equality and the empowerment of women” was held on 1 March, organised by EI/Global Unions and the Swedish Women’s Lobby.

On 2 March, an IUF/ITUC/PSI/EI parallel event also brought together trade union women, representatives of NGOs, women's movements and government representatives from around the world for an interactive debate on “Empowerment of rural women: Through rights at work, education and public investment”.

The trade union delegation will follow up the work done during the coming week.

Follow the updates and write your opinion on the trade union blog: http://unioncsw.world-psi.org!