Unions that represent all workers are stronger unions and become more relevant to both existing and potential new members. Fighting against any kind of discrimination is a way to organise and build collective power. But women continue to face inequality in the workplace, in society and in the union. At the same time, the voices and concerns of women continue to be underrepresented.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent crisis has magnified vulnerabilities that exist in our societies. Women’s lives have been disproportionately affected. This reaffirms the need for continued and reinvigorated efforts in the fight for global equality.
On International Women’s Day 2022, the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) has published the guide ‘All for One = One for All: A Gender Equality Guide for Trade Unionists in IUF Sectors.’ This guide was produced for the IUF by GLI Manchester.
Based on a previous guide the IUF published in 2007 – ‘All for One = One for All’ – this new guide is updated and extended with new chapters and stories. It intends to foster equality by promoting solidarity, building union strength and tackling the inequality issues that women face.
This guide is for everyone who wants to make the union stronger and more representative by promoting gender equality – at work, in society and in the union. But as this is a guide on gender equality – and historically women have been marginalised – it focuses mainly on women’s experiences.
This guide is divided into two sections:
Section 1: Fighting Inequality highlights gender equality issues on which we should work together to tackle.
Section 2: Union Power for All introduces organising strategies which can:
- Build women’s union membership
- Empower and strengthen women’s confidence and activism
- Ensure that women’s voices and concerns are heard and taken up in the union
- Persuade more men that including and listening to women is the right thing to do, will help the union and so is in their best interest too
Shaped by the experiences of IUF affiliated unions, this guide is supported by the stories of women from all over the world who have experienced inequality and have organised in response. It highlights the amazing work of union activists – including the support of male unionists – and their achievements in the fight for equality.