The critical role of women’s participation through trade unions was at the core of the UNCSW60, through a panel discussion on partnerships for gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Dianne Woloschuk, EI Executive Board Member and Chair of the EI Status of Women Committee, addressed the panel stressing the important role that trade unions play in society, and made the case for the involvement of unions in all key partnerships that will support a gender-responsive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda.
The expert panel was moderated by Mr. Jun Saito (CSW60 Vice-Chair, Japan), and was attended by panellists from local government and national authorities, a regional central bank and a women’s rights organisation: H. E. Ms. Angela Brown Burke (Mayor of Kingston, Jamaica), Ms. Emma Kaliya (Chairperson, FEMNET, Malawi), Ms. Michaela Bergman (Chief Counsellor for Social Issues, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), Ms. Rima Khalaf (Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Jordan), H. E. Ms. Olfa Soukri Cherif(MP, Tunisia).
Dianne Woloschuk’s statement at the panel:
"I would like to draw attention to the critical role trade unions play in society. Through their collective action and advocacy, trade unions secure improved working conditions and workplaces, fair pay, and social protection for their members, and advance the common good for the benefit of society as a whole.
This critical role is especially true for women. Through trade unions, their democratic processes and their advocacy for gender equality, women’s voices are heard and a space for diversity is created through which it becomes possible to understand and make known the experiences of women and their understanding of how to move forward.
Education worker unions work tirelessly and powerfully to advance the cause of gender equality in education and through education. One important reason for that is that our members are predominantly women. We view the Commission on the Status of Women as a vital platform through which we are able to advocate for gender equality in collaboration with women’s rights groups in civil society, which are our natural allies.
It is vital that trade unions be included and fully engaged in policy dialogue and decision-making with respect to the implementation of the SDGs. By these means, the voices of literally millions upon millions of women around the world can enter these processes.
Trade unions are already engaged in inter-sectoral partnerships and collaborative work with women’s civil society organizations. Through these networks, we can strengthen partnership and collaborative processes, as well as strategies for engaging in joint action for gender equality.
Trade unions know well the importance of partnerships and collaboration. With our partners, we have identified shared agendas, conducted research and strengthened analysis through joint research that communicates women’s lived experience. We have created shared strategies for action.
To conclude, we ask that the full participation and engagement of trade unions in partnership and collaborative processes be ensured."
Click here to read the issues paper for the panel discussion.
Click here to read the panellists’ papers.