Gender Equality is an Economic Imperative

8 Mar 2019

Patricia King Patricia King addressing ICTU Women's Seminar 2019 Newcastle

On the eve of International Women’s Day, 150 women trade unionists from North and South gathered in Newcastle County Down to mark the day.

Speakers included Congress General Secretary, Patricia King who told delegates that gender equality is no longer simply the right thing to do, but is an economic imperative – with the IMF claiming that up to 10% of GDP is lost as a result of gender inequality in our labour market.

Director of Equality at the International Trade Union Confederation, Chidi King, updated delegates on the work at the International Labour Organisation towards a new international convention on violence and harassment in the world of work. The adoption of an ILO Convention on violence and harassment in the world of work will ensure minimum standards for ALL. Delegates pledged to work to ensure that this becomes a reality.

ETUC Confederal Secretary, Esther Lynch, said that the European elections in May are the most important for decades – and the turnout and vote of women will be crucial to halt the rise of the anti-European and far-right parties. On 8 March – International Women’s Day - the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) launches a call for women to vote in the European elections, and to vote for women candidates who support gender equality and trade union demands for a fairer Europe for all workers. “The trade union movement stands up for women’s rights and women’s participation in our democracy – as voters and as candidates”.

Contact Conor Kavanagh ICTU Communications Office 0868116607