The WFTU Web Seminar “Gender equality and working women’s rights” for trade unions from Arab countries was held with the participation of 20 women and men trade unionists from the following countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Syria. The Coordinator of the WFTU Women’s Committee, sister Grace Mathapelo Khanye from NUM, South Africa, addressed the main presentation.
Brother Ghassan Ghosn, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, brother Adnan Azzouz, head of the Middle East Regional Office of WFTU and comrade George Mavrikos, WFTU General Secretary, intervened during the Seminar.
Comrade George Mavrikos, WFTU General Secretary, stressed the need to continue and strengthen the internationalist solidarity with the People of Palestine. He also pointed out that we must struggle to improve the participation of women trade unionists inside the trade unions and their respective bodies and that working women and men share common struggles.
On the basis of the rich discussion that was developed and suggestions that were made in support of the working women’s rights in the Arab countries, a Memo will be addressed to governments and International Organizations.
Sister Grace Mathapelo Khanye stated among others the following:
As Working Women, we are harder hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19, as we disproportionately work in insecure labour markets and nearly 60% of women work in the informal economy which puts them at greater risk of falling into poverty.
Working Women’s Rights are Human Rights and that Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being on the planet that was nearly 70 years ago. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage.
Labor rights and women’s rights are inherently entwined. We stand for rights that are vital for women’s equality, equal pay for equal work , maternity benefits, high-quality health care,
health and safety at the work places.