The WFTU Delegate Anda Anastasaki, General Coordinator of the WFTU Central Offices presented the WFTU Statement in the special session of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW62) of the United Nations.
Below her Speech:
For the attainment of female rural workers’ rights
I want to convey to you the greetings of 96 million workers who are affiliated to the World Federation of Trade Unions and they live, work and struggle in 126 countries.
When the WFTU was founded on 3 of October 1945, it immediately expressed the hopes of the voiceless. It was the “child of unity” between workers, small farmers and every employee who wanted to forget the atrocities of fascism and WWII.
Among those who embraced the young organization have been the female rural workers; from the Indian female farmer to the poor Balkan farmer who had seen her crops on fire during the Great War.
Nowadays, the global economic crisis and the attack against workers’ acquisitions also affected the female farmer. Furthermore, International Agreements and the Free Trade Treaties which abolish all trade barriers to international agricultural products trading had a negative impact especially on female farmers.
Therefore, the WFTU calls for the attainment of the female farmers demands. The slogan of the World Working Women Congress of the WFTU that has been organized in Panama under the title: “We struggle for equal rights at work, in society, in life” shows the way.
So, we fight for:
– Creation of health infrastructure for the protection of rural women’s health along with structures to support elderly people.
– Epidemiological surveys for female rural workers’ occupational diseases, adopting prevention measures.
– Basic educational infrastructures (early childhood centers, Primary Schools) and transport infrastructures which will drive rural women’ s children to school for free.
– A social benefits network for families, children, elderly and disabled people
– Immediate protection of all informal female farmers and rural workers, implementing labour law and Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Of course, all these demands must be incorporated into further initiatives for the development of agricultural economy, according to the criteria of peoples’ food sufficiency and not the multinationals interests.
Only such an analysis could mobilize female rural workers to fight against exploitation so as workers don’t pay for a crisis they didn’t create. The WFTU commits itself to be there, in every big or smaller struggle.