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Women and Employment

Congress passed this resolution:

The 25th IUF Congress meeting in Geneva, March 19-22, 2007,

Notes that the precarious forms of employment such as casual, temporary, seasonal, migrant work or self-employment/"independent contracting", that have expanded rapidly within the IUF sectors, have had particularly negative impact on women workers. Due to these workers' typically low level of trade union organisation and consequently weak or non-existing bargaining power, these forms of employment have further deepened already deeply-rooted gender inequalities

Expresses its deep concern · that fundamental rights such as freedom of association, non-discrimination,
maternity and social protection are absent or undermined in precarious forms of employment;
· that low or non-existing employment security, low wages, irregular working time,
the inability to influence working conditions, have serious implications for
possibilities to combine work and family responsibilities
· that hundreds of thousands of women workers are lacking adequate health and
safety protection, a situation aggravated by the difficulty in establishing the
responsibility of the employer/s in the event of work-related accident or illness. In
addition, many accidents and illnesses affecting women workers are never
declared to the employer or relevant governmental agency and are thus absent
from official statistics
· that women in precarious forms of employment are particularly exposed to gender
related violence, intimidation and sexual harassment. Because of the lack of
structured employment relations and the lack of trade union representation, there
are no negotiated or agreed procedures to deal with workplace violence and
sexual harassment.
· that the absence of negotiated workplace policies concerning HIV/ADS and the
lack of medical care and monitoring make women workers and their families even
more vulnerable to the pandemic.
The 25th IUF Congress therefore
Calls on governments:
¨ to act to ensure sure that the ILO Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association), 98
(Right to collective bargaining), 100 (Equal Remuneration), 111 (Discrimination),
155 (Health and Safety) are upheld and respected in all forms of employment,
including casual, contract, temporary, seasonal and migrant work;
¨ to ratify and implement Convention 183 on Maternity Protection and 156 on
Workers with Family Responsibilities.

Calls on the IUF and its affiliates:

¨ to strengthen the efforts and resources to organize women workers in precarious
forms of employment;
¨ to continue to promote gender equality at all levels of the union organization and
at the workplace;
¨ to actively campaign for the ratification of ILO Conventions 183 and 156;
¨ to reinforce the efforts to monitor and report on the implementation of all the
above mentioned conventions;
¨ to intensify the struggle for safe workplaces for women throughout the food chain
¨ to strengthen union efforts to make HIV/AIDS a work place issue with a special
focus on women and young workers and to engage companies in IUF sectors.
The Resolution adopted at the IUF 24th Congress should continue to guide IUF
and affiliates work on HIV/AIDS.