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Res. On Gender Equality, Pay Equity & Maternity

PSI media release

Public Services International
June 15th 2004


The International Labour Conference adopted a resolution on June 15th calling for governments, social partners and the ILO to take a set of specific actions to address the gender wage gap. "This successful outcome is the result of a long-term strategy to give pay equity the priority it deserves and to get the issue onto the union agenda. Over the last two years, the Executive Boards and Women's Committee's of both PSI and International Confederation of Free Trade Unions have endorsed the draft resolution on pay equity and it has been widely distributed to affiliated unions" explained Nora Wintour, Equality and Rights Officer at the PSI. "The resolution also recognises the essential role of quality public services in promoting women's access to employment and notes that globalisation processes can have negative consequences for women" she explained. "It represents crucial support for public service unions around the world", Nora Wintour added.

The text is the first major statement on gender equality adopted by the ILC since 1985. Over the past two years, PSI has been instrumental in developing a resolution on pay equity and has been a key partner in the maternity protection campaign. This resolution is a combined text and includes a section on the promotion of gender equality, submitted by the Nordic governments, and resolutions on pay equity and maternity protection submitted by the Workers' Group. It calls upon governments and social partners to actively commit themselves to eliminating all forms of gender discrimination on the labour market and to promote gender equality between women and men.

Specifically, the resolution proposes that social partners negotiate the introduction of gender-neutral job evaluation schemes, statistical indicators, as well as gender and race reviews at the workplace. The employer's group categorically refused to permit the word gender audit to be included in the original text. It calls on the ILO to strengthen its commitment to gender equality and improve its training and advocacy programmes, as well as research of minimum wages and the provision of public services on the gender, wage gap, taking into account other forms of discrimination. In addition the resolution addresses the need to secure maternity protection, particularly for women workers from vulnerable group.

The full text of the resolutions (in English, French and Spanish) are available on the ILO website at the following address: Public Services International (PSI) is a global trade union federation that represents 20 million women and men working in the public services around the world. It has some 600 affiliated unions in almost 150 countries. PSI is an autonomous body, which works in association with federations covering other sectors of the workforce and with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). PSI is an officially recognised non-governmental organisation for the public sector within the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and has consultative status with ECOSOC and observer status with other UN bodies such as UNCTAD and UNESCO.

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