(ILO News, Shanghai) - The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) joined hands in promoting gender equality and decent work through strengthening workers’ education and social dialogue, at a workshop held at the UN pavilion in Shanghai World EXPO on 8 July 2010.
As employment discrimination against women tends to increase in times of crisis and fast economic growth, efforts should be made to address challenges and create more and better jobs for women and men. Providing equal access to vocational training and skills development remains of primary importance. The crisis and fast economic growth should not be used as an excuse to create even greater inequalities nor undermine women’s acquired rights.
The ILO/ACFTU workshop highlighted actions being carried out at the national level to promote equality and decent work for women and men. The main objectives were a) to enhance understanding of gender equality at the heart of the decent work in Chinese society; b) to eliminate gender stereotypes in social and economic development; c) to encourage integration of gender equality into policies, programmes and activities of different trade union departments and various industrial/sectoral trade unions; d) to raise awareness and increase capacities of labour officials, employers and workers to design and implement laws and regulations to better safeguard the rights of all workers to employment, fair wages, social protection, and representation in decision making and social dialogue. For the trade unions, workers’ education is one of the important means to promote gender equality.
Mr Ni Jianmin, Vice-President of the ACFTU, Ms Jane Hodges, Director of the ILO Gender Bureau, Ms Ann Herbert, Director of the ILO Office for China and Mongolia were present at the event. Representatives from provincial and industrial/sectoral trade unions, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the China Enterprise Confederation and the All-China Women’s Federation also participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, Ms Jane Hodges made the keynote speech on achieving gender equality and decent work. Reaching equality in the family, the workplace and society requires active contributions from men and women, protection of their fundamental workers’ rights and equal chances ranging from access to education and decent jobs to equal representation in senior jobs and at the highest levels of policy making. She highlighted the importance of gender mainstreaming as a long-term systematic process to safeguard the rights and interests of both women and men workers and underlined the need for gender-specific measures, such as maternity protection and family-friendly employment policies to achieve social justice and better societies.
The ACFTU, as a key actor in promoting gender equality and decent work in China, shared successful mechanisms to address critical gender problems in workplaces, and their approaches to integrate gender equality into the agenda of trade unions. Presentations by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the China Enterprise Confederation, and the All China Women’s Federation reflected their roles and responsibilities in mainstreaming gender equality in the world of work.
Ms Jane Hodges, on behalf of the ILO, thanked tripartite constituents and other social partners for their commitment to and advocacy of gender equality and non-discrimination in China.
For more information please contact:
Ms Huang Qun
Senior Programme Assistant
86 10 6532 5091 ext. 128