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Women trade leaders to attend world women's meeting in Brazil
ICFTU OnLine..., 092/070599/DD 7 May 1999
Brussels. May 7th 1999 (ICFTU OnLine): The world's largest-ever gathering of women trade union leaders is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in just over a week's time. Over 320 female world trade union leaders are attending the ICFTU 7th World Women's Conference which runs from May 18 to 21.
The Conference is being organised by the ICFTU, of which one third of its membership of 124 million members, are women. Delegates are coming from 120 counties in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe - from Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, to Poland, Russia, Japan, South Africa and Zambia.
During the four-day Conference they will be hotly debating the Conference theme "Women in the 21st Century: Demanding our Space, Taking our Place". The opening key-note speaker is Nobel Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu, well-known campaigner for the rights of indigenous peoples, particularly in the Americas.
"We are looking at ways of changing the face of globalisation so that it responds to what we need", said Elsa Ramos, of the ICFTU's Equality Department. "Particularly as women have been the first to suffer from its effects". Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty worldwide, more than 70% of them are women and girls.
In Brazil, where the Conference is being held, globalisation has badly effected women workers - in 1997 45% of Brazil's unemployed were women, up from 39% in 1991. The Conference is being hosted in Rio de Janeiro by ICFTU-affiliated unions: the General Confederation of Workers (CGT), Forca Sindical (FS) and the United Workers Centre (CUT).
For further information, please contact the ICFTU Press Office on: 322 224 0212