Labour Rights for Women
Duration: January 2012 – December 2015
Funded by: NL FLOW Fund
Partners: ITUC, Wage Indicator Foundation, AIAS
Project Management: ITUC, Wage Indicator Foundation, AIAS
LABOUR RIGHTS FOR WOMEN aims to contribute to overarching policy aim of contributing to structural poverty reduction by improving gender equality and the empowerment of women. Within this aim, LABOUR RIGHTS FOR WOMEN will promote economic self-reliance, through giving women a say in employment in 11 countries: Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The project aims to raise awareness, through mass media and public debates, with empowering women to defend their own rights at the workplace, while strengthening women’s leadership in collective bargaining and social dialogue. More in particular to further three development objectives:
1. increase awareness of women’s labour rights as laid down in national legislation and collective agreements. How to combine work and motherhood, and achieve equal rights, equal pay, decent working conditions, and measures against workplace sexual harassment
2. empower women workers to improve their employment situation
3. improve legislation and enforcement of laws protecting women's labour rights
Co-applicant Wage Indicator Foundation will put its worldwide web portal at the disposal of the LABOUR RIGHTS FOR WOMEN project. It draws web visitors, using state-of-the-art content management systems, applying search engine optimisation techniques and optimising media outreach. Scientific backing and analysis of data is provided by AIAS, University of Amsterdam. The national websites are managed by regional teams in Argentina, Egypt, India, Pakistan, and Mozambique with help from national experts such as lawyers, marketers and journalists.
The project trains women both from within and outside trade unions on women’s rights, advocacy, negotiation skills and networking, to enable them to successfully run mobile support units. Trainings are organised and new and up-to-date training materials developed, in addition to existing training materials. Starting from the second project year, the mobile units will support women to address workplace issues. The ITUC Regional offices, its Training & Research Institutes and the Trade Union Confederations in their respective countries are responsible for this objective.
Trade union partners focus on the most vulnerable and unprotected groups of women workers, such as women in informal employment, domestic work or other forms of precarious work. Trade union partners will host regular meetings bringing together women who connected with the support unit, to share experiences, success stories and to identify common challenges and areas for further action. These meetings will develop into a network of women with leadership qualities, able to pressure governments and employers on the national level. To maximise the visibility and impact of the national networks, ITUC and its regional organisations will integrate them into a global network.
To improve legislation and enforcement of laws, the project organizes public debates involving politicians, MP´s, labour inspectors, business leaders, employers’ organizations and trade union leaders, women’s organisations and broader civil society. Co-applicant Wage Indicator and the regional web-teams will take the lead in realising these public debates, using principles from journalism and input from previous meetings and encounters. Broad media coverage of such public debates is expected to raise public attention and increase support for proposed legislative changes and enforce existing rights.
Social dialogue meetings and collective bargaining negotiations organised by trade unions with social partners will further follow up on the conclusions of the public debates; the points of action decided at the national networking meetings; and the momentum created by the media and public attention.
The achievement of these LABOUR RIGHTS FOR WOMEN involves the development of economic and social capabilities. The project strengthens women’s social capabilities through networking and strengthens their economic capabilities by increased pay and benefits and improved working conditions.