Published: 13/09/2019

A training workshop on gender equality and trade unions was held in San Jose, Costa Rica from 5 to 7 September 2019, with the participation of some thirty members of IUF-affiliated organizations in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador. The event was organized by the Rel-UITA team and was also attended by one of the Brazilian representatives of the IUF Latin-American Women’s Committee (CLAMU).  

Based on the personal experiences of the women trade unionists present, a key message expressed by the participants is that, like any society, trade unions need women in order to achieve fundamental change. The participants talked about the difficulties, including in family and personal terms, but also in the company and in the trade union, of making their mark as women trade unionists. They also stressed the importance of their involvement in organizations for the protection of workers. The need to create networks of women trade unionists, one of the priorities of the IUF’s equality strategy, whether in a country, a subregion or in a TNC, was widely underlined and illustrated from the experience of Clamu-Guatemala (Clamu-G).

Such networks allow people to work together, fostering synergies and the development of strategies, as well as solidarity. The fight against all forms of discrimination (LGBTI or migrants workers) is recognized as central to the revival of the trade unions. Finally, the participants prepared roadmaps at trade union, national and regional level to increase the presence of women in trade unions, build networks, and strengthen their capacities, including negotiation of clauses specific to women workers in collective agreements and fighting against gender-based violence.

This event was supported by the FES and Union to Union.

For more photos and information (in Spanish), see: