Count Us In!

Women’s trade union membership stands on average at 40 percent, yet women occupy only 15 per cent of the top decision-making positions in their organisations.

Women’s labour force participation rates are stagnating; young women continue to be disproportionately affected by unemployment; the gender pay gap remains at an average of some 20 per cent; women continue to suffer from segregation in low-quality and undervalued jobs and to be over-represented in informal and non-standard forms of work, as well as unpaid care work. Gender-based violence in the world of work is a significant barrier to women’s effective labour force participation.

Decent employment of women is the fastest and most sustainable way to drive growth and productivity. Organising around women’s economic and social rights can build workers’ power and deliver stronger, more representative unions that truly reflect the diversity of our membership at all levels, including the highest levels.

Campaign Objectives

  • 100 ITUC affiliates to subscribe to the Count Us In! Campaign by the 3rd ITUC Congress (Berlin, Germany, May 2014)
  • 80% of ITUC General Council members to have at least 30% of women in their decision making bodies by the 4th ITUC Congress in 2018
  • 5% increase of women’s membership in each national centre that has subscribed to the Count Us In! Campaign by the 4th ITUC Congress in 2018

Six reasons to count us in!

  1. Far more women are likely to join a union, as members, activists and leaders, when unions reflect the gender diversity in their leadership.
  2. By promoting women leaders, unions gain capacity to build workers’ power and, to win better rights for all workers.
  3. Acknowledging and valuing women’s leadership capacities is an investment in democracy and in the strength of our movement.
  4. More women in leadership enhances the ability of unions to reach out to, organise and mobilise more women members and activists.
  5. The ITUC Constitution requires a quota of at least 30% women in leadership positions.
  6. By promoting women leaders, unions become more representative of the work force in their respective countries.

Six ways of promoting Count Us In!

  1. Engage men and women across the union movement in the campaign – create a network to share ideas, strategies, policies, programs and visions. Build commitment among the leadership, membership and activists.
  2. Provide campaign tools and information, e.g., on the union web site, email lists, Facebook page, trade union publications, etc. Promote the campaign at key trade union meetings.
  3. Include the Count Us In! logo in campaign resources and at trade union events and invite trade union members and activists to ‘like’ the Count Us In! Facebook page.
  4. Build support mechanisms including mentorship systems to encourage women to stand for elections.
  5. Plan an official launch, an occasion where trade union leaders can express their support for the campaign.
  6. Build campaigns focusing on improving women’s rights in law and collective bargaining agreements with a strong organising angle to increase women’s membership, encourage women’s activism and their involvement in decision-making roles.