“Women Leading, Women Organising” – Training for women trade union organisers in Asia

Sunday 12 October 2014

Date: 06 October 2014

Type: Announcement

Source: APWLD

Keywords: Women, trade union

APWLD invites applications for its Asia Pacific Regional Women Leadership in Trade Unions Training

18- 21 December 2014, Chiang Mai, Thailand


Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) will convene the Asia Pacific Regional workshop “Women Leading, Women Organising” in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 18 to 21 December 2014. This pilot, participatory workshop will focus on enhancing the capacity, leadership and voice of women in trade unions across the Asia-Pacific region.

Context: In the past fifty years women’s participation in the labour market has rapidly increased, particularly in Asia. Women account for 1.2 billion of the world’s 2.9 billion workers, an increase of nearly 100 million women since 2004. Yet much of this work has been in informal, low paid and poorly unionised sectors. Women in Asia predominantly work in domestic work, the garment industry, service industries and agricultural subsistence farming. Labour migration has also become increasingly feminised in the region with women migrant workers amongst the most exploited and under unionised in a globalised, de-regulated labour market.

Economic growth in Asia has largely rested on the shoulders of poorly paid women. Asia’s gender pay gap is the largest of all regions with no progress made to close the gap for over a decade. Discrimination in law and practice persists, women continue to face sexual harassment, exploitation and face life threatening occupational health and safety risks.

The exploitation of women workers in Asia is deepened by the intersections of patriarchy and neo-liberal economic models that promote globalisation. Policies of deregulation, privatization and trade liberalization have magnified inequalities and diminished all elements of the decent work agenda including, rights to living wages, decent conditions, health and safety, association and representation, to organize, to collectively bargain and to strike.

Trade unions are a critical space to achieve decent work, women’s human rights and challenge inequitable economic policies. Trade unions can provide a channel for women to exercise democratic and political rights both within their workplace and in shaping national policies and movements. However, women remain under-represented as members, organisers and leaders in the trade union movement. Despite increases in women’s membership only a small number of women hold leadership positions in the trade union movement.

Recognising the multiple challenges women union leaders face and the importance of trade unions to advance women’s human rights, APWLD will begin trade union leadership training for women organisers and leaders.

Objectives: 1) To enhance the leadership, voice, influence and capacity of women in trade unions 2) To promote feminist / gender justice in trade union structures, programs and campaigns 3) To increase trade union organising in labour sectors dominated by women 4) To increase the capacity of women trade union leaders to advance principles of development justice at national, regional and international levels

Methods: The training will use participatory methods and draw from the experiences and existing knowledge of participants. The training will focus on trade unionism and work; women, work and trade unions in the context of globalization, fundamentalism, militarism and feminist development justice. Selected participants will draw from a menu of proposed topics to determine the skills, knowledge and strategies they would most like to develop. Areas may include: organising methods; feminist analysis of work; the decent work agenda; leadership skills for women; development justice.

People can apply based on the following criteria: • APWLD members as well as non-members from across Asia Pacific may apply. • Women delegates, organisers, trade union leaders (both registered and un-registered, informal unions or associations are eligible) • The workshop and learning material will be in English. Applicants who are not proficient in English may be considered where another participant can support translation. Trade unions may nominate two participants with one being an English speaker.

Participants will be selected based on the following considerations: • Balance in sub-regional representation from Asia-Pacific. • Preference given to individuals with institutional/ union affiliations and/or recommendations from APWLD network. • The participant group size will be limited to 25.

Expectations and obligations of participants: All participants will be expected to • prepare for the workshop by collating national information and their own case studies • actively participate and share knowledge, expertise and experiences • develop a personal action plan at the end of the training • maintain contact with APWLD and colleagues in the training to exchange experiences and practices that result from the training

Procedure: All applicants should submit a completed application form and send it along with their Curriculum Vitae. The recommending institution/organisation should certify that the person recommended has worked in or aspire to involve in leadership roles and decision making positions within the organisation and is committed to applying the core learning points of the training in her future work.

Cost of the Training and Sponsorship: APWLD will cover costs of boarding and lodging for the 4-days training period. In addition, APWLD will also cover costs of discounted economy airfare, visa fee, airport tax, travel tax. All additional travel related expenses must be informed by the participant to APWLD beforehand for approval or participant will not be reimbursed for those expenses. Only selected candidates will be contacted for further details.

To apply, email completed application form, together with your CV and endorsement letter from your organization to APWLD to the attention of:

Wint Thiri Aung (Ms.) wint@apwld.org; and CC buai@apwld.org and apwld@apwld.org

For applications through email, please indicate in the subject line “Application for Regional Women Leadership in Trade Unions Training 2014” Application must be lodged no later than Friday 17 October 2014.


See online : APWLD

Tejiendo Redes.
C/ Hermanos García Noblejas, 41, 8º. 28037 - MADRID.
Tlf: 91 4084112 Fax: 91 408 70 47. Email: comunicacion@fidc.gloobal.net