The gaps that affect women in society due to a macho culture also exist in the unions of the American continent, which have initiated a process of "self-reform" to, among others, print speed "to the slow advance of gender equity" In those organizations.
"Women in trade unions have made some progress, have had intermediate positions and few positions of power, but when they have a position of power they do not necessarily exercise it. Men continue to make decisions," the president of the Committee of the Female Worker of Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (CSA), Dominican Eulogia Familia.
The union leaders "need to consolidate their leadership in power and that is a part of the things we are working on the self-reform," said the Dominican leader.
Self-reform is a process that "helps unions to adapt democratically to the inclusion of women, youth and sectors that were not traditionally organized, such as domestic and informal workers and workers."
What is involved, added Familia, is to "break that cultural barrier" of patriarchy and machismo, which "is difficult," admitted the union leader.
And although in the framework of the self-reform "there are advances, in some organizations more than in others, they are not enough to satisfy even a quarter of the aspirations" that women have within workers' organizations, he said.
Familia is one of the nearly 200 union leaders who participated in Panama in the II Conference of Women of the CSA, an organization founded in 2008 that brings together 48 union organizations from 21 countries and represents 55 million workers.
The Women's Conference is held every four years to generate recommendations and resolutions that are taken to the Confederation Congress, which will hold its fourth edition next April, also in the capital of Panama.
The objective of the II Conference is to define positions "aimed at improving the participation of women both within the company, with their rights guaranteed, as well as in the unions and in society. We not only aspire for women to advance in the union , we want the working woman to occupy her position in society, "said Familia.
Isabel Guzmán, leader of the Confederation of Workers and Workers Convergence of Trade Unions of Panama, told Efe that after "many difficulties" they have managed to establish the scheme of gender quotas to ensure female participation in the organization.
"We have just passed a congress in which 40% of the board of directors are women, but we have had to do a very strong job in the trade union organizations to give effective participation to the partners. There is a resistance from the comrades, it is a power issue, then there is definitely a lot to do yet, "Guzman said.
The general secretary of the CSA, the Brazilian Rafael Freire, said for his part that he is fully aware and is convinced that "there is no union democracy without the effective participation of women."
"If we want the empowerment of women in society we have to start with our house. We have to discuss with us, men, that if we do not start with our house, the discourse of empowerment outside is an empty discourse, it is demagogy," he admitted .
In that sense, Freire said that "there is a very strong conquest of women in the CSA," and asked the Confederation "to deepen a lot in the alliances of our women with feminist movements in the region to have a common struggle."
"There will not be any struggle of the women of the Americas in which the women of the CSA are not in charge," said the secretary of the Trade Union Confederation.
. (tagsToTranslate) unions (t) America (t) advance (t) equity (t) gender