The last ITUC report “Living with economic insecurity: women in precarious work” shows that while the initial impact of the crisis was equally detrimental to men and women, increasing numbers of women are now either losing their jobs or being forced into more precarious, temporary and informal form of work. Young women in particular are most affected by the process of “informalization” of work which forced millions of them to live with economic insecurity. Overrepresentation of women in insecure forms of work undermines women’s rights, perpetuates gender inequalities in societies and dampens the prospects for sustainable economic progress.
The young women pay the price of job market “flexibility” and are the most severely affected by unemployment and precarious work, inadequate education and training, exploitation and discrimination at work. Still too many women around the world do not enjoy maternity protection and are subjected to numerous forms of discrimination, ranging from pregnancy tests at the recruitment stage to dismissals during pregnancy and loss or withholding of wages. Also, they are directly affected by cuts in public expenditure both as workers in and as the main beneficiaries of public services. The consequence of insecurity for women is far reaching as they remain the primary family care-givers. Unemployment, job insecurity, low pay and public service cuts all limit their ability to feed, educate and nurture their children.
The International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future. This day is an occasion to review the ongoing struggle for women’s rights and gender equality. It is an opportunity to celebrate the progress achieved, as well as condemn the ongoing difficulties many women and girls face in their efforts to assert their rights to equality and justice. But as we celebrate, we should also reflect on where we stand, how far we have progressed and what we still need to do to achieve those rights and opportunities that are integral parts of our human and workers` rights.
Today, when 100th Anniversary of International Women`s Day is celebrating in all over the world, the young women are united in their demands and have one common message to all responsible institutions at national and international level: “Decent work, decent life and respect for women!”
On behalf of the PERC Youth Committee I call to everyone:
Let’s all together act everyday as on the International Women’s Day!
Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding!
Let’s fight for equality pay, for reconciliation of family and working life and for equal opportunities for women and girls!
8 March 2011
President of the PERC Youth Committee