HAK-IS 10th International Meeting on Women’s Labour with the theme of "The Place of Working Women from HAK-IS in the Union Movement"

HAK-IS confederation successfully held its 10th International Meeting on Women’s Labour with the theme of "The Place of Working Women from HAK-IS in the Union Movement" at the Headquarters of Confederation on 8th of March 2021.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the whole world and Turkey, 10th International Meeting on Women’s Labour was carried out in accordance with all measures, and the importance of women’s labour was once again emphasized in the program.
Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Minister of Family, Labour and Social Services, also attended the meeting and addressed the women of HAK-IS.
In the opening speeches on behalf of HAK-IS Women’s Committee, Chair of the Committee Fatma Zengin said that 8th of March, International Women’s Day is a day when all women, especially working women, will raise their voices and stand with the dignity of labour. She emphasized the motto of HAKIS “Differences in Nature, Equality in Rights”.
The President of HAK-IS Mahmut ARSLAN mentioned that HAK-IS, have achieved an important step in terms of unionized women. "We took an important responsibility with the number of women members reaching 28 percent. At the same time, many of our female trade unionists joined the union movement to become a unionist woman. However, that’s not enough, we want more. Now we want the number of unionist women leaders to be increased and further strengthened. We need to fulfil our responsibilities in this regard and carry our women to where they should be. HAK-IS iscalling on the government and parliament to ratify C 190 which is a vital Convention in order to protect working women and facilitate their lives."

Minister of Family, Labour and Social Services Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk congratulated HAK-IS and said “I am very pleased to meet you at the 10th International Meeting on Women’s Labour of HAK-IS. We are celebrating the 10th of the Women’s Labour Meetings today. Having some meetings for the first time gives a significant momentum. But it is important to persistently make these women based labour gatherings traditional. HAK-IS has achieved a very important success in this regard and has made it traditional by doing it for the 10th time. I wish these beautiful works done will be beneficial for our women and our country. I congratulate our HAK-IS Confederation and our unions for their interest and sensitivity in this matter”.

In the second part of the program, a panel was held. Under the main theme of the program, "The Role of Working Women from HAK-IS in the Union Movement"” an academic panel was held on;
• Women in The Labour Movement from The Past to The Present / Assoc.Prof. Meryem Ayşegül Kozak Çakır - Uludağ Unıversity
• PERC Women’s Committee activities and Combating Violence in Working Life / Olga Nıcolae - ITUC PERC
• The Effect of Pandemic On Working Women, Challenges and Solution Suggestions/ Assoc. Prof. Nergis Dama - Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University
• Organization of Women Workers / Eda Güner - HAK-IS General Secretary
Additionally, a guest speaker, Iman Ahmed from SWTUF/ Sudan has attended the program talking about Sudanese woman in politics and trade union.

The last part of the program was “The Representation Power of Women in HAK-IS”. In this regard, women workplace representatives, branch level chairs, provincial level chairs, head of women’s committee in unions, general secretaries, members of disciplinary board and vice presidents of trade unions gathered all together in order to Show the power of women in HAK-IS at all levels.

You may find above the Conclusions and Declaration of Meeting in details/points;

  • As stated in international researches and reports, women are exposed to violence in working life and family life during the pandemic period.
  • It is important to carry out awareness studies in the fight against violence in business life, both internationally and nationally.
  • In particular, the ILO Convention No. C 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in Working Life should be ratified by states immediately.
  • HAK-IS considers all kinds of violence against women, which is an important social problem in our country, as a violation of human rights.
  • HAK-IS invites all national and international segments to take responsibility in their efforts to combat all kinds of violence against women.
  • Female workers were the most affected by the coronavirus epidemic affecting economic and social life at a global level.
  • The technological literacy level of female workers has been a determining factor in the home or remote working system. Especially in this period when OHS trainings are given remotely, access of women workers to these basic and compulsory trainings is a problem.
  • In the absence of people working as a support mechanism in housework, the increase in women’s domestic activities in task sharing shows that the trainings on this role sharing should continue.
  • Considering that peace in home and family life affects efficiency and productivity in working life, families should be strengthened with training programs on family and child, parent and child communication.
  • In order to protect employment, it is essential to protect the economic and social rights of the labour force. Therefore, unionization, which is one of the most important tools in the protection and strengthening process, should be increased and the informative, educational and protective programs provided by the union should be updated according to changing conditions
  • HAK-IS Confederation points out that women have problems and awaiting solutions in issues such as child, elderly, disabled care, maternity and breastfeeding leave. It demands that the policies to be proposed for the solution of these problems be addressed with the participation of all social partners, as at EU level.
  • HAK-IS demands the introduction of a tax system that takes family obligations into account.
  • Acting with the belief that a strong family is the basis of a strong society, HAK-IS draws attention to the importance of developing socio-economic measures and policies that observe work-life balance, especially for working women in order to strengthen the family.
  • Women participated in various economic activities in different forms and statuses according to the conditions of each period of history. On this day, when we celebrate March 8, it will help us to understand how the society we live in has come to this day, even if we get to know some of the women who left important traces in the labour movement and shaped the history of labour.
  • Throughout history, women labourers have been an important actor and driving force of social, economic and political life. Both in Europe and in our country, the struggle for women’s existence has been going on for centuries.
  • Women labourers who develop social forces in favour of labour should be more involved in social, economic, cultural, political and trade union areas.
  • The struggle of women’s groups to strengthen women’s issues and ensure the visibility of women’s issues has created the dynamic of this change in the past and is still today. Undoubtedly, the success of the working women’s movement will depend on the organized struggle of the labour movement.
  • In the historical process, there are numerous women’s organizing experiences in different parts of the world, shaped in accordance with their unique economic and social structures, and the stories of women who were leaders in the labour struggle.
  • HAK-IS continues its efforts to ensure women’s strong presence in the labour movement, without compromising its values and principles in international platforms.
  • In order to eliminate the problems of women in working life, it is necessary to increase the representation of women in the trade union movement more. HAK-IS will continue its efforts to ensure a stronger participation of working women in the trade union movement.
  • HAK-IS, in principle, has adopted the appointment of at least one female representative from workplace representation to union board of directors.
  • HAK-IS adopts the idea of female representation in branch delegates and management bodies at least as much as the number of female members.
  • HAK-IS always carries out an understanding that sets a model, guides and produces solutions in women’s studies.
  • HAK-IS sees women as one of the important actors of union organizing.
  • HAK-IS will continue its work for women without compromising trade union values and principles.
  • HAK-IS sees the development of women’s knowledge, skills and competencies as an essential element of working life and union life.
  • Believing in the importance of producing union concepts, HAK-IS will continue to develop many concepts that contribute to national and international literature on women’s studies.
  • HAK-IS will continue to support women’s participation in trade union decision-making mechanisms as it is today.
  • It draws attention to the importance of raising women unionist leaders who internalize the HAK-IS vision and stance, bear this responsibility, add value and produce to the HAK-IS, understand and explain the struggle for the union.
  • HAK-IS invites all women in working life to be unionized, organized and to be a HAK-IS.

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