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International Women’s Day 2014: The IYCW Demands Equal Participation and the Elimination of Gender Discrimination PDF Print E-mail

"A Dignified Life for Women Is Progress For All"


altIt is said that when young women receive equal access to training facilities, education and opportunities, and move on to participate fully in economic decision-making, they are a key driving force against poverty. Young women with equal rights are better educated, healthier, and deliver greater access to land, jobs and financial resources.

 

Women do not freely advance in all spheres of their lives because of discrimination as well as early school dropout due to teenage pregnancies. Their increased earning power in turn raises household incomes. By enhancing women's control over decision-making in the household, gender equality also translates into better prospects and greater wellbeing of children, reducing poverty of future generations.

 

Sofia from Lviv, Ukraine, reported that she has not found a job after studying sociology and she lives in an uncertain situation. “My apartment is empty. I do not even have the money for simple consumer goods like shoes or a pair of jeans.”


“My name is Jenny Fedencks, 18 years old. I live in Otjimuse, Namibia. I dropped out of school due to difficulties in my family. I am taking care of my brother’s baby as a babysitter. Every month he gives me pocket money. Before that I used to go clubbing with friends. But then I was introduced to the YCW, I stopped the clubbing and the useless life I used to live. So now I can make some monies for myself. Thanks to the YCW”.

 

In large part, the position of young women and their contributions have historically been excluded from the society or considered inferior. In every part of the world, women face great inequality related to gender aspects in their families, society, factories, offices, trade unions and churches. At the work place they are more likely than men to have jobs characterized by poor pay, insecurity and a lack of basic rights. They always come second in everything in relation to their male counterparts. They are also sexually harassed everywhere (home, work and society). For instance some managers and recruiting agents ask/demand sex in return for a job or for maintaining one.

 

“My name is Ah Fung, 20 years old. I am the youngest of four siblings. I live in Guangxi, China and I migrated to Jiangmen to find a job. Currently, I am working in a restaurant as a captain and I help my family by sending half of my salary to my mother. I don’t often go back home because it’s too far, 10 hours travel by bus.”


“I am Nidia Elizabeth, 22 years old (Guatemala). I have been working in a garment factory in a FTZ called Denimatrix for 2 years. Due to overtime hours, I have no time to see my friends. There are 2,700 workers, the majority of whom are women. My mother does domestic work, such as washing, ironing, etc. She works in difficult conditions and often has accidents.”


altThe economic model that many countries have adopted over the past two decades has increased inequalities in the global population. Rural young women, who account for over a quarter of the world population and two thirds of the illiterate population, have worse incomes than rural men or urban men and women on almost every count. Millions of rural women are responsible for children and face food scarcity; they have to walk for hours to collect water and fuel; and they have to tackle illness without the necessary resources. They work long days in the fields – subject to environmental deterioration and climate change – for a low or no wage. They are particularly vulnerable to the global crisis, such as the current financial one, trying to absorb the impact on their families.

 

These are manifestations of gender inequality and structural barriers that hold back women. We need new approaches which make transforming gender relations an integral part of all we do.

 

Gender equality and women’s empowerment and rights must be addressed in a stand-alone goal and in integrated gender targets across all other development goals towards dignified life for all women on this earth.

 

We, the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW) movement, believe that each and every young (woman) worker must:

 

  1. Have the possibility to realize their uniqueness capacities and abilities to contribute to society development;
  2. Be able to live and work under decent conditions;
  3. Have the freedom to choose their work;
  4. Have access to a well-developed social protection system;
  5. Experience no gender discrimination in the society.

 

We therefore demand:

·         To eliminate gender discrimination at work and in society;

·         To ensure equal participation in the movement and in society;

·         To ensure equal opportunity of education for women and men.

 

We will take our queue from the women of 1917, their bravery and militancy will spur us on to continue the struggle for the emancipation of women from the clutches of abuse.

 

 
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