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International Women's Day 2010 PDF Print E-mail

Sarah is 18 years old and she finished her last year of secondary school in 2008. She is 4 months pregnant and lives with her boyfriend. After her studies, she registered at the VDAB (employment office) and after that in all the temporary work agencies (around ten of them) in her neighborhood. “I was offered a job at Cleandienst. Before I started they told me it was a permanent job but when I started it was only temporary work. I had a few jobs, always short term, not permanent work. They always require experience but how can I get any experience if I cannot work?” Sarah - Flanders YCW - Belgium

Each year around the world, the International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Organizations, governments and women's groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues.

In the IYCW we are also carrying out a campaign for gender equality as a part of our Social Protection campaign. Gender is one of the main aspects we focus on in our campaign. In the IYCW there are many actions happening in relation to this campaign.

The Ecuador YCW is organizing young single mothers to fight for their rights. In fact these young single mothers are excluded from their families and from society. They are facing many difficulties in their work because there is no one to take care of their children. They are struggling to feed their children. The Ecuador YCW is organising those single mothers and raising their awareness about their reality and their rights. As a result they have organized a childcare centre for themselves, allowing those young single mothers to work.

The Paraguay YCW is developing a campaign on domestic workers, providing shelter to young domestic workers in Asunción. The Gabon YCW, Pakistan YCW and Peru YCW are also organising young domestic workers to raise their awareness and encourage them to claim their rights as domestic workers.

This year the IYCW will put forward the demands of young domestic workers to the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) 2010 in Geneva. Young domestic workers from the IYCW will bring their testimonies and demands to the ILC, asking that better policies should be established for domestic workers in that forum.

The IYCW presented its intervention and demands to the gender commission of the 98th Session of the ILC in Geneva last year. Its intervention was included in the final ILC report. “We continue to stand up for our rights. On this International Women’s Day, we want to emphasize the importance of gender equality, which is at the heart of our social protection campaign” said Geethani Peries, the IYCW President.

On 6th March the IYCW, together with the “World March” women network, will be marching in the streets of Brussels to say that gender equality is a key element at the heart of any social protection program. At the end of the march, the IYCW International Secretariat has planned an event with the Walloon YCW and the European YCW called “CafEquality” to publicise our demands and our campaign through different activities, testimonies, actions and sharing.

The demands of the YCW are:

  • Equal, sustainable and quality jobs: Jobs should guarantee equality between men and women, the sustainability and quality of work, and respect for the dignity of young men and women workers.
  • Equal labour force participation: Men and women should have equal job opportunities. There should not be discrimination on a gender basis.
  • Equal social protection: The social protection coverage should be broadened to include people who work in the informal economy and home-based workers, including housewives with no work.
  • Equal rights at work: Economic, social, cultural and political basic rights should be equal for young men and women workers. They should be incorporated into national legislations and implemented practically in the field of work.
  • Equal opportunities in terms of education and training: Men and women should have equal opportunities in the field of education.

Geethani Peries

For the IYCW International Secretariat

 
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