Promoting gender equality remains high on the agenda at trade union congress in Belgium

Promoting gender equality remains high on the agenda at trade union congress in Belgium

Amel Djemail, Equal Opportunities spokesperson for UNI Europa, was asked to speak at on a gender equality panel during the FGTB congress in Blankenberg.

High on the agenda were the various types of gender inequality that women face in the workplace, for example being given lower ranking job titles for doing the same job as a male colleague, and how unions can fight against gender stereotypes.

Djemail emphasised the importance of involving women in trade unions, developing strategies to make unions gender balanced and sharing best practices, such as the UNI mentoring programme where mentors help mentees learn from their experiences.

Formally adopted by UNI Global Union’s highest decision-making bodies, Djemail also presented UNI’s “40% rule” and campaign, which has had a positive impact on raising women’s representation in the structure/sectors of the organisation. Women must be represented by at least 40% not only in all fora, but also in decision-making positions, as it should be in a gender-balanced society.

Other topics included campaigning for the implementation of the Work/Life Balance Directive and for an ILO convention to stop gender based violence in the workplace. Further UNI Equal Opportunities campaigns can be seen here.

Djemail stated: “It was an intense but productive panel discussion on the key topic of our generation – gender equality. As trade unionists, it is essential that we involve gender issues in every step of our collective bargaining negotiations so we ensure that inequality, discrimination and the absurd gender pay gap are no more.”

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