18 June 2005
Union Conference Focus on Increasing Power of Women
Growing the power and influence of women in trade unions, their industries and communities has been high on the agenda at a national conference of union women in Wellington.
Around 160 women from 21 unions gathered for the two-day Council of Trade Unions' biennial women's conference which finished today.
"Women also focussed on the power of their vote in the up-coming general election to ensure the next Government will continue to deliver on issues affecting women workers," said CTU secretary Carol Beaumont.
Some of these issues included the need to close the gender pay gap, deal with low pay and poverty, and scrap the student loans system which disadvantaged women.
"The conference also saw a need to break down occupational segregation and allow more women into non-traditional jobs."
Unions were challenged to recognise diversity among their membership, and to reflect that diversity in core union agendas. They should also build strong alliances with community organisations to promote the interests of particular groups of workers.
"The conference celebrated the gains for women, and recognised that there is still much work to be done to achieve fairness and equality for all," Carol Beaumont said.