“This Congress is about more power for women. It is not an easy task and women leaders have to fight for it” said Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of the BWI. For the first time in BWI history, hundred twenty women leaders are participating in a Global Women’s leaders forum in Durban bringing together women in key national leadership positions of BWI affiliates as well as potential leaders, and active union members who play a critical role in the decision-making process of their unions. The focus of the Forum, held on 27 November 2017, will be identifying the existing women trade union leaders and potential leaders through a survey that was conducted prior to the Forum with the goal of monitoring the development and growth of women in national and local leadership positions.
On behalf of the Africa and Middle East region, Elizabeth Amuto, Chair of BWI Africa and Middle East Women’s Committee recalled the enormous challenges women are facing like discrimination, sexual harassment, low wages, gender gaps in labour markets. “Despite challenges, women have been gradually integrated in decision making bodies, though not enough and this congress is the opportunity to make history once more.”
Among the objectives of the Forum:
To take stock of women in key national and local leadership positions within BWI structures.
To strengthen the BWI statutory women structures.
To develop a network of women leaders at the regional sub-regional level within BWI.
To evaluate and review BWI’s global campaign for gender equality, “Value Women’s Work”.
To strategize and develop recommendation and input in regional and global roundtable discussion on the innovative trade unionism, BWI Sectors and the Future of Work, and the BWI 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.