Trade unions’ intervention at plenary review of SDG 5 (Gender Equality)

Speaking on behalf of the Major Group of Workers and Trade Unions and Public Services International at the United Nations’ High Level Political Forum 2017, Moradeke Abiodun-Badru, of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, highlighted the centrality of solving issues in the world of work to achieving gender equality. The full text of Ms. Abiodun-Badru’s speech is available below.

Ms. Abiodun-Badru’s intervention begins at 4:01:50

Public Services International calls for a real transformation of the world of work and gender relations, equal pay for work of equal value and the recognition of women’s work. We need a political, social and cultural shift based on pro-women and pro-worker policies and trade unions have a key role to play in this process.

Fighting gender inequity in the labour market requires policies and laws to protect all workers, whether in the informal or the formal economy, and to ensure compliance, instead of impunity, of anti-discrimination and minimum and living wage legislation as well as core labour standards. In addition, gender sensitive policies that take account of the constraints and the discrimination faced by women and of the unpaid care work carried out by women – must be designed and implemented.

We need targeted policies to address the pay gap, which otherwise will take decades to be bridged. It is through collective bargaining that unions can make a substantive difference to address the pay gap and the value of work by women. Through the provision of quality public services and universal access to health, education and water, societies can be more inclusive, address unpaid care work and a real division of labour. At the same time, more and better jobs for women can be created while at the same time the segregation of wages should be addressed.

Through the integration of women in both trade union membership and leadership structures, trade unions lead the way forward to realize the political and economic autonomy of women. Women and men have a joint responsibility to ensure the economic empowerment of women – empowering women empowers societies.

Additional information:

  • This plenary session of the HLPF is available here.
  • Trade unions’ participation in HLPF 2017 is available here.
  • PSI’s work on the 2030 Agenda is available here.