BSPSH: Count us in campaign in Albania

The BSPSH (The Union of the Independent Trade Unions of Albania) on 05.12.2015 organized the national campaign in Albania "COUNT US IN", in cooperation and co-financing with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Sweden Confederation of Trade Unions (Union to Union) with the participation of 150 women members BSPSH, of all federations and regions. Also in this important campaign were representatives of ILO Albania, representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Youth, Civil Society and Media.

The President of BSPSH Mr. Gezim Kalaja emphasized the importance of empowering the role of women in decision making, in the leader positions , policymaking, and respect the importance of gender equality, non-discrimination at the workplace, for decent wages, for equality in wages between men and women , and also for decent work according to EU directives and ITUC strategy.
President Kalaja emphasized that BSPSH has reached participation of women in lider structures at 35% , 5 % more than provided in the statute of ITUC . Also in accordance with the decisions of the 3-rd Congress of ITUC Mr. Kalaja took the decision to achieve the objective of + 5% women membership by the 4th ITUC Congress in 2018, so the representation of women in our Confederation ( BSPSH) to reach at 40%.

Ms. Arjola Alika representative of BSPSH stressed the importance of “COUNT US IN” Campaign as an initiative of the ITUC, and the importance of the campaign to increase the number of women in leader positions, in policy, in decision making and in the governance structure. The aim of this campaign is to increase by 5% the percentage of women in leader structures, drawing on BSPSH Statute and the Statute of the ITUC, as well as the decisions of the of the 3rd Congress of ITUC .All participants expressed their willingness in continuation of this effort at the national level in all federations and regions of BSPSH, and also BSPSH and federations signed a declaration to increase the membership of women in the trade union, the recruitment of women, especially of young women, training them for position leader, qualification through seminars and trainings, collaboration with trade unions in the Region, exchanging best experiences for gender equality, empowering women power ,non-discrimination in the workplace, decent wages, decent work. We took the initiative that until the 4-th Congress of ITUC and 6-th Congress of BSPSH to increase at 40 % the percentage of women leaders in BSPSH .Far more women are likely to join a union, as members, activists and leaders, when unions reflect the gender diversity in their leadership. By promoting women leaders, unions gain capacity to build workers’ power and, to win better rights for all workers. Acknowledging and valuing women’s leadership capacities is an investment in democracy and in the strength of our movement. More women in leadership enhances the ability of unions to reach out to, organise and mobilise more women members and activists. By promoting women leaders, unions become more representative of the work force in their respective countries.All the federations took the decision to develop the campaign COUNT US IN in each enterprise and each region and to inform every member about this statement of the campaign.
Also in the framework of the International Day of Violence against Women (25.11-10.12.2015), BSPSH supported the campaign "16 days against gender violence" where as part of the solution should be men. Elimination of gender violence as any kind of psychological or physical sexual etc. directly influences growing in percentage of women in leader positions, because obstacle is on gender-based violence.
President of BSPSH Gezim Kalaja emphasized that statistics of violence against women in Albania are very high, which comes because of the lack of information, educational failure, low salaries and the financial position of women that do not have financial independence. Cooperation between trade unions and civil society and the government should be in terms of unification of Albanian legislation according to EU Directives and legislation , ILO Conventions and Human rights. In this important campaign, the representative of the Youth Forum of BSPSH Mr. Bruno Hoxha asked for support from President of BSPSH mr. Gezim Kalaja to take engagements for youth Forum too. For this reason also they singed Youth Campaign "Get Organized" Youth Platform. Decent jobs for young workers Youth unemployment , precarious work Young workers’ rights ,focus on young women workers’ rights , social protection for young workers , occupational health and safety issues, incl. HIV-AIDS , wages for young workers (incl. minimum wage) , violence against women , participation of young workers in the unions, access to quality education and Training ,green jobs.
This campaign will be held in 2016 with the goal of BSPSH to recruit new members, and to reach 40% the percentage of youth in BSPSH . After the end of activity at the Conference Hall, 150 women also recorded a video with the campaign slogan "COUNT US IN".After recording the video, participants were invited by BSPSH for a lunch at the Tropical with the financial support by ITUC and The Independent Trade Union of Miners of Albania.

Ms. Arjola Alika Project – Coordinator