Labour Agenda

Message at the Engendering the labour agenda workshop

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Engendering the labour agenda workshop, 9 September 2023, Quezon City, Philippines

Statement | Quezon City, Philippines | 09 September 2023
Dear sisters and women leaders from the Philippine trade unions, workers’ organizations and broader labour movement, a pleasant morning to you all!

I am delighted that women workers and labour leaders are gathering to keep the momentum that has been set with the launching of the 15-Point Labour Agenda last year.

I understand that the idea of further deepening and sharpening the gender lens and dimensions of the 15-Point Labour Agenda was brought about by the labour sector’s preparations during the 2023 ILO High-Level Tripartite Mission (HLTM).

In the course of the labour sector’s process, there was a realization that the Labour Agenda needs to be more gender-responsive, especially in the context of freedom of association, the right to organize and collective bargaining and gender equality in the workplace.

The call to make the Labour Agenda more gender-responsive comes at an opportune time, given the growing steam for the ratification of the ILO Convention No. 190 on Ending Violence and Harassment in the World of Work.

In this regard, the ongoing formulation of the Women Workers’ Agenda does not depart from but rather strengthens the 15-Point Labour Agenda. In particular, you are expanding Item No. 7 on achieving gender equality for all women and children to be incorporated in all aspects of the Labour Agenda - from freedom of association to security of tenure, living wages, decent job creation and social protection.

Additionally, the proposed Women Workers’ Agenda seeks to take up the gender impacts of trade policies and agreements, including rights-based trade arrangements like the EU GSP+, on women, men and LGBTQIA+ workers. Such issues are very important and would augur very well for the Philippines’ ongoing consultations for both the implementation of the 2023 ILO HLTM recommendations and the preparations for the upcoming 2024 EU GSP+ regulations and reforms.

The ILO supports the greater participation of women not only in the discussions but also in the implementation of policies and programs that would significantly improve the state of freedom of association and the right to organize and collective bargaining in the country. ILO will also continue to support the Philippines’ compliance and adherence to its international trade arrangements, particularly its long-standing commitments to labour and human rights.

As such, let me end by saying that women workers’ rights are women’s human rights.

Thank you so much and have a productive workshop!