Women trade unionists from over 20 countries in Europe and Asia gathered in Chisinau, at the Labour Institute, on 7-8 November to participate in the work of the new edition of the Women’s School of the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC) of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The topic of the activity is “Vulnerable groups and gender pay/pension and other policies to eradicate gender discrimination”.

In his opening speech, Igor Zubcu, President of the CNSM, addressed a greeting message to the participants of the PERC Women’s School, stressing the importance of combating the inequalities that still exist in the field of gender policies, according to international standards and recommendations towards which the Republic of Moldova aspires, the meeting in Chisinau being a good platform for trade unionists to discuss various topics of interest.

At the same time, the trade union leader referred to the  proposals of CNSM aimed at supporting female employees and trade union members in our country, such as ensuring women’s participation in decision-making processes in various fields and at different levels for the proper promotion of their rights and interests, and putting forward legislative proposals regarding the social and economic protection of women, the need for annual indexation of child-raising allowances, compliance with the provisions of labour legislation on the protection of women and their children and the submission of several proposals in this regard, the launch of the mobile application “The Workers’ Rights”, the initiation of processes for the ratification of the International Labour Organisation Convention No. 190.

Roya Garayeva, Chair of the PERC Women’s Committee, underlined that the activity organised in Chisinau is a good opportunity for women trade unionists from different countries, who are facing different problems, including crises and vulnerabilities under conditions of wars, natural crises, difficulties in social dialogue, to exchange views and identify together solutions to the problems they encounter in their trade union work.

In this context, Angela Munteanu-Pojoga, Member of the Moldovan Parliament, referred to the steps taken by the Moldovan authorities to ratify the International Labour Organisation Convention No 190 concerning the elimination of violence and harassment at work, the regulatory measures to bring national legislation into line with the provisions of Convention No 190, and the cooperation with the social partners to ensure gender equality and improve the social and economic situation of women in the Republic of Moldova.

Other speakers at the School were Anton Leppik, Executive Secretary of PERC, Isabelle Schömann, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Lilia Franț, Vice-President of the CNSM, Liuba Rotaru, Chairperson of the Women’s Commission of the CNSM, representatives of national trade union centres, guests from abroad, UNHCR office in the Republic of Moldova, etc.

Ensuring equal pay for work of equal value in order to reduce the gender pay gap in terms of work remuneration and retirement, developing strategies on ensuring gender equality, supporting vulnerable groups and ensuring their inclusion, national policies on ensuring gender equality – were just some of the issues addressed by the participants of the PERC Women’s School.

The School discussed the state of social dialogue and the role of social partners in the process of removing inequalities in labour relations, especially in the context of the gender equality dimension and ensuring equal opportunities for women and men.

Participants in the PERC Women’s School exchanged experiences on the situation in their countries in terms of ensuring gender equality, combating stereotypes that still exist in labour relations in many countries, EU policies in the field of ensuring gender equality and international recommendations in this area, how the crises of recent years have affected the work of trade unions and what their impact has been on women and their families.

The trade unionists will also outline goals for collaboration and discuss the future plans of the Women’s Committee of the Pan-European Regional Council of the International Trade Union Confederation.

More photos from the event can be found on the CNSM Facebook page.