16 May 2019: Trade union representatives from Group 2 of the BWI European Regional Women’s Committee which consists of BWI affiliates from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland held the Fifth sub-regional conference under the slogan of “Fair Work-Good Life”. The conference was hosted by GBH of Austria and organized
The keynote speaker at the conference was researcher Margrit Appel who started the debate by pointing out the complex connection between the two parts of women’s goals: women’s struggle for equal pay while at the same time trying to work less to have more time for family responsibilities, friendships, love, personal growth as well as other things. All these elements could be brought together by one simple expression: Women fight for a good life! Margrit Appel argued that Unconditional Basic Income could be very useful tool to achieve fair work-good life goals for women.
During the Conference the women discussed different strategies as to how women can achieve fair work-good life goals. Participants recognized that organizing a national women’s strike could be a very successful strategy.
Rita Schiavi, Chair of the European Regional Women’s Committee and representative of UNIA reported that on 14 June 2019, trade unions will join a broad coalition in coordinating a women’s strike. On behalf of IG-BAU-Germany, Ulrike Laux and representing GBH-Austria, Brigitte Schulz committed their solidarity and support by wearing the June 14 General Strike button on the day of strike.
The participants at the conference recognized that since the first Group 2 sub-regional women’s conference, trade union leaders and activist from the three countries have made significant progress in their fight for gender equality and women’s rights. More importantly, through the conferences the women find inspiration and solidarity amongst each other as well as learn constructive and positive strategies to move their respective national campaigns for gender equality.