INCREASE GENDER REPRESENTATION/ GENDER BALANCE
One of the main objectives set by UNI Global Union, through its Equal Opportunities Department has been to attain productive development based on gender equality. We regard this principle as essential to achieving sustainable development and true social justice for everyone.
The Equal Opportunites Department carries out programmes, campaigns and other activities in order to fulfil this goal, both within the organization and among our affiliates.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
The socially and culturally built hierarchy between the genders holds certain power relationships. Any power relationship is asymmetrical by definition, i.e. one of the subjects of the relationship has power and the other one does not.
Usually, men are socially regarded as being of higher value. This asymmetrical situation is present in many areas of social life and can lead to violence (physical, verbal, or psychological).
Studies show that more than 1/3 of the women around the world have experienced violence at some point in their lives and it can happen at the workplace.
Sexual harassment is a form of violence that through a show of power intimidates, humiliates, and affects another person’s dignity. This behavior is sexual in nature (physical contacts, sexual advances, comments and jokes with sexual content, exhibiting pornographic material or making inappropriate comments) and undesired; it is perceived by the victim as a condition to keep the job, or as one that creates a hostile, intimidating, and humiliating work environment.
THE WAGE GAP
One of the areas at the workplace where gender differences are seen is the difference in the remuneration that men and women workers receive for work of equal value. A study by the International Labour Organization in 2013 shows that the global wage gap is 23%.
However, this number does not account for the millions of women working in the informal economy with no protection. Also, many countries lack reliable statistics to prepare more accurate reports, therefore, this already high figure will be even higher.
Access to education continues to be key to bridging the wage gap. However, it is not the only instrument, since women with higher education are at the ends of the gap with their male peer. For that reason, UNI has pledged to work to make ILO Convention 100 requiring equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value effective in every work site.
Health is a universal human right. That’s why, irrespective of religion, age or where we live, we have a right to the information and the healthcare services that allow us to care for our bodies and our quality of life.
It is not just being free of illnesses, but also having access to reasonable standards of living, housing, food, decent work, as well as appropriate level of medical assistance so that we can develop our full potential as individuals.
To be able to truly achieve gender equality, we need to look at the health and well-being of women. This is a precondition for the promotion of the sustainable growth of our communities.
WORK - LIFE BALANCE
Globalization of the economy has brought about changes in the labour market structure and labour organization, which had remained stable throughout the 20th century. The traditional model of sexual division of labour had placed productive tasks (supporting and providing for the family) in the hands of men and reproductive ones in the hands of women (caring for children and the elderly, housekeeping chores.)
Today, women increasingly share the provider role with men. However, there has not been a similar change in the distribution of domestic work. For that reason, women with both roles (productive and reproductive) work more hours than men, get less rest, and are burdened with a heavy workload that puts their health at risk and limits their chances of developing a professional career.
We must then reflect upon these issues and devise policies intended to balance work and family life to overcome gender inequalities, so that both men and women may have access to a full family life and a professional career.