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UN backs equality of women

03 Jul 2014
Brigitta Paas
New United Nations (UN) recommendations should help grassroots organisers to improve the status of women transport workers, an ITF representative said this week.

Brigitta Paas of FNV Bondgenoten attended the 58th United Nations Committee on the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York, USA. The committee, which was established in 1946, exists to promote, report on and monitor issues related to women’s rights.

This was a watershed year for UNCSW, with discussions focusing on Millennium Development Goals (MDG). MDGs are international development goals, which were agreed by the UN in 2000. MDG3 focuses on gender equality and the original deadline for achieving the goal was set for 2015.

The discussions at UNCSW covered a broad range of activities – from encouraging governments to ratify protocols around gender equality, to tackling violence against women and girls, to getting rid of gender stereotypes. From a transport perspective, the discussions also covered the role that women can play in improving food security, through playing more of a role in global fisheries.

Paas said that the key message from the meeting was that men must get involved: “We still hear the question, ‘Why must we have gender equality?’ – this is a real issue. Men and women transport workers need to take on this challenge together – and I believe that these recommendations can be used to reinforce our union activities. We should all read this document, and refer to it in the course of our union work – and use the power of the UN to reinforce our argument.”

Get the UNCSW 58 recommendations here (currently English only, will soon be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish)

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