WFTU Statement on International Women’s day, March 8th 2017

Under the slogan: “WORKING WOMEN ALWAYS AT THE FRONT of social struggles and of the WFTU life and action” the World Federation of Trade Unions honors, for one more year, the anniversary of March 8th 2017, 160 years after the uprising of women workers in New York, demanding better working conditions, equality and life with rights.

We are extending our warmest greetings to all women trade unionists continuing the struggle of these pioneer women workers, within the ranks of the class oriented trade union movement and of WFTU, and we congratulate them on their courage and militant action. We are greeting the working women all over the world, the women of poor popular strata, toiling every day to survive and support their families. We are greeting the women migrants and refugees who left their countries because of the imperialist wars.

Since its foundation until today, the WFTU has always been on the side of working women through various activities and initiatives. It has always highlighted the specific problems that women face, as a social group that is more affected by the capitalist system aggression, exploitation, imperialist interventions. Such problems are the lack of necessary social support for maternity, lower wages, more flexible forms of employment, labor market discriminations and the lack of free time that often hinders women’s participation in trade union activities. Moreover, working women often fall victims to employers’ violence and racist pressures. Women migrants and refugees suffer various pressures and discriminations taking place against them.

The situation and position of working women have been even more aggravated within the economic recession and crisis that workers experience in recent years almost all over the world. Most of the times, working women suffer more intensely by unemployment, wage cuts and violation of their fundamental rights.

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day we once again reaffirm our stable solidarity with the women of Palestine, of Syria, of Iraq, of Afghanistan and of the entire Arab world, wherever they suffer from the U.S.A. and Israeli interventions.

Dear colleagues,

As class oriented trade union movement, let’s take initiatives to increase the number and percentage of women within the administrations of trade unions at all levels. With boldness and specific plan let’s trust the women trade unionists. Women’s and working youth’s participation will give new impetus to the WFTU and to the militant trade unions.

We call on all the WFTU affiliated members and friends to honor the International Working Women’s day through diverse activities and events, which will demonstrate the need for greater defense of working women’s rights and more effective claiming of measures improving their working and living conditions.