Gender project is one of many democratic projects in CLC which is getting fund support from EU though CNV-I. We are progressing to empower women workers through providing the gender and leadership knowledge and encourage them to act their rights in family as well as in society. We have been implementing the project getting more women as leaders and ending discrimination against them in work place. Moreover, we are demanding for ILOC183 and ILOC189 ratification. In order to reach our goal effectively, we also established alliance and networking with national and international organization in the promotion and protection of the rights of women workers and the rights of young workers, thus promoting decent job.
We believe that trade unions make a difference to the lives of women workers. We consider the needs of female members in order to attract the interest of their membership as it is an objective of trade unions to organize more members in order to gain more power to negotiate with employer and government to respond the need of all workers. CLC gender committee (GCs) is a specialized body within the structure of trade unions, especially at the level of a federation or confederation. For example, CLC established a GC in 2008 to incorporate gender issue and agenda in trade unions.
It is now in the process of preparing to approve the principles and policies of the GC, as well as formulating strategies that would enhance women members’ participation in leadership and to make both men and women equality received the same working conditions, eliminate gender discrimination and respect human rights. Furthermore, GC deal with an entire range of diverse problems that women workers face at work as we as at home. We also advocate to government to ratify ILOC183 on maternity protection and ILOC189 on domestic helper protection as well as deal with human trafficking and migration workers issues. The gender project and GCs plays very active roles to improve the rights of men and women and have much opportunity to get equal benefits and gender equality.
Women labour force almost dominated by women especially in garment sectors is said that more than 90% are women. Considering the fact that the garment sector is where unionization is concentrated, a majority of union members is comprised of women. Nonetheless, the leadership of trade unions does not reflect this and continues to remain with men. Women voice and representative is very limited. Based on data provided by unions, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity estimated the percentage of female leadership in garment sector as 24% at local level and 25% at national level. To remind that women are more than 90% in garment sector but women hold the leadership position 75%.
Women unionists have faced obstacles and challenges in their daily life with their families and with people around them. At first, nobody they were close to was in favor of their decision to engage actively in a trade union, not even their husbands. People tried o persuade them to reconsider their decision to become unionists. They would say: “It is a very dangerous job. You may be hurt. This decision isn’t right for you. “People especially emphasized the fact that they are women, saying “You are a woman. A woman is not the right person for a trade union.
Short-Term Contract is a challenge to workers particular pregnancy women. The employer do need to hire pregnancy women as they showed that it is effect to their supply chain thus they use short term contract to dismiss pregnancy women. Discrimination unions also occur in society, whether men or women were evicted because they are members of the union. Obviously, when they participate in the work and activities of the union, especially the strike action, they will be dismissed.
In Labour sector, women and men work under different conditions and payment. Women are most likely hard to do over time because of the security at the night time for example rap case, but men have more chance to work overtime to get more payment. Moreover, many more women workers settled on lower pay because of less over-time and poorer working conditions. Most of the work opportunity requires high skill labour workers than lower skill labour. That is a reason that less skill workers are getting poorer, women are the most vulnerable groups.