The 5th PERC Women Conference

The 5th PERC Women Conference took place in Brussels on 14 and 15 of December. Some forty sisters from PERC affiliates all over the region debated the main challenges working women face at work and at home, evaluated the actions implemented by the Women Committee since 2016, formulated priorities for the 2023-2026 period as well as for the preparation of the PERC General Assembly in 2023 and recomposed the Women Committee for the next 4 year period.

Paola Simonetti, director of ITUC Equality department, presented the main outcomes of the 5th ITUC Congress and 4th ITUC Women Conference, particularly, the gender dimension and foundation of the New Social Contract.
Chidi King, ILO Branch Chief, Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Branch (GEDI), presented impact of pandemic on equality and inclusion in the world of work, need to promote international labour standards, in particular, the recent ILO Convention 190 to combat gender-based violence and harassment.
Aline Brüser, ETUC advisor, informed about priorities of ETUC Women’s Committee in building up for the ETUC Congress, including trade union ambitions for the EU Directive on Pay transparency and EU Directive on Minimal wage and collective bargaining, as well as on proposed Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence.
Sabine Slegers, ACLBV/CGSLB, outgoing Chair of the PERC Women Committee, outlined the main activities and achievements of the Committee’s work.
The Conference was addressed by ITUC Deputy General Secretary Owen Tudor, re-elected in 5th ITUC Melbourne Congress, and Esther Lynch, ETUC General Secretary and Acting General Secretary of PERC.

The Conference agreed that the Women Committee shall focus on:
-  Eradicating gender based violence and harassment in the world of work;
-  Building a care economy;
-  Realizing equal pay for work of equal value;
-  Upholding gender equality and inclusion for peace and democracy;
-  PERC Women Committee against war in Ukraine;
-  Promotion of existing conventions of the ILO (non-discrimination, OSH, social security, maternity protection, domestic workers and others) and contributing to building of new standards (e.g. on biohazard);
-  Promote women in decision making positions in trade unions at all levels.

The Conference elected Roya Garaeva from AHIK-Azerbaijan as its new Chair; Natalya Levitskaya, KVPU Ukraine and Merita Yldiz HAK-IS Turkey as Vice-Chairs; and members of the Committee: Arjola Alika, Albania, BSPSH; Sabine Slegers, Belgium, ACLBV/CGSLB; Biljana Skrbic, Bosnia-Hercegovina, KSBiH (SSRS); Bistra Karadimova, Bulgaria, CITUB; Raisa Liparteliani, Georgia, GTUC; Christina Stockfisch, Germany, DGB; Brigitta Szabo-Zsura, Hungary, LIGA and Joa Bergold, Sweden, LO.

Sisters also expressed solidarity with Ukraine and sisters affected by the war as well as with the imprisoned Belarusian sisters and brothers