On 12-13th of March 2019, the Construction and Building Materials Industry Workers Union of Ukraine (PROFBUD), with Union to Union support, organized a workshop specifically geared towards women trade union leaders from BWI sectors. The intent of the workshop was to share and create innovative trade union approaches to ensure gender equality. The participants shared their best practices of trade union campaigns focusing on gender issues.
“Women in Ukraine earn 26 per cent less than men and they have limited opportunities for career advancement,” stated Vasyl Andreev, Chairman of PROFBU. He continued, “One of the reasons for this is that that women in Ukraine have the double burden of still being responsible for domestic work and taking care of the children in addition to their work outside the home. In addition, many employers discriminate against pregnant women or women with children as they believe this would interfere with work.
Participants of the workshop supported PROFBUD’s campaign “Value Women’s Work: Fight against Gender Pay Gap in Ukraine. Although the wage gap is prevalent in all sectors, it is much more so in the construction and building materials sector. In an effort to publicize the campaign, PROFBUD created leaflets and posters and printed 148 UAH (Ukrainian national currency) bill instead of the normal 200 UAH bill to emphasize the gender pay gap of 26 per cent.
A key outcome of the workshop was for women trade union leaders to identify issues and problems and strategize solutions. The most urgent concerns the women expressed were gender pay gap, pregnancy discrimination, violation of the international labour standards and low level of ratification and implementation of the ILO gender equality conventions.
“It is very important that women from different trade unions and different sectors came together to unite their efforts in the fight for gender equality in Ukraine, and support PROFBUD campaign “Value Women’s Work” which is cornerstone of BWI’s global campaign for gender equality. It is essential that trade unions promote gender equality as it will only strengthen the trade union movement,” said Lesya Gusak, PROFBUD trade union leader and a member of the BWI European Regional Women’s Committee.