[Documents menu] Documents menu

Women to shape future of trade union movement - global survey launched

ICFTU OnLine...., 23 January 2001

Brussels January 22 2001 (ICFTU OnLine): A major survey of working women all over the world has been launched by the world's biggest trade union body, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). It will help the 156-million member confederation build up a unique picture of what women see as the most important issues related to their jobs, such as pay, working hours, child care, etc.. Women workers are also being asked whether they belong to a trade union and if the union meets their needs. Those who are not union members are asked what the reasons are, be they cultural constraints, fear of reprisals from the employer, or the negative image of the unions.

Their answers will enable the confederation to respond more effectively to the needs and concerns of working women today. This is essential for the ICFTU, as women now make up (40% of the workforce worldwide) and about 40% of the global confederation's membership.

The survey will be carried out by means of a questionnaire, which in addition to be sent out to 25 affiliated organisations from various regions is being posted, in English, French and Spanish, on the ICFTU's website and can be completed electronically. As the aim is to collect information from women workers literally all over the world, beginning with the 148 countries and territories in which the ICFTU has member organisations, the rapid and efficient means of collecting information that this technology provides is vital.

Once collected, the information could help shape the future of trade unions globally. The ICFTU is currently working, in partnership with its sectoral federations, the International Trade Secretariats, on a review of the priorities, structures and strategies of the international trade union movement. The process, known as the "Millennium Review" and due to be completed by the end of this year, has been described as "the most radical review of the global trade union movement since trade unionism was born". The organisation wants to ensure the active and full participation of women in the millennium debate, and has called on its Women's Committee to conduct the discussion on gender equality. It is within this context that the Women's Committee has produced the questionnaire, the results of which it hopes to feed into the debate. For this to be effective, the ICFTU is appealing to working women worldwide to take part in its survey by filling in the questionnaire as soon as possible. It is every working woman's chance to help shape the future of the trade union movement.

All women workers are invited to take part in the questionnaire.

Contact: ICFTU-Press at: ++32-2 224.02.12 (Brussels).

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions(ICFTU)
Boulevard du Roi Albert II 5, B1, B-1210 Brussels, Belgium.
For more information please contact:
Luc Demaret on: 00 322 224 0212 - press@icftu.org