Arab trade union organisation includes Diversity in their set of priorities

The Arab national trade union organisations associated with the ITUC, the so-called global voice of workers worldwide, have decided to launch the process of creating a trade union organisation for the Arab region, using the framework of the ITUC to promote and defend the rights of workers. The purpose of this initiative is to respond effectively to the political and social aspirations expressed by the revolutions which took place in the Arab region. To this end, the founding organisations of this ‘democratic and independent Arab trade union movement’ have adopted a charter which sets out the fundamental principles for action and defines the objectives to be pursued.
The struggle for freedom, social justice and equality, the fight against oppression, exploitation, poverty and discrimination are at the heart of the new Arab trade union movement. Based on the rejection of all forms of colonialism, racism, sectarianism and terrorism, the Democratic and Independent Arab trade union movement seeks to unify all its force to fight for trade union rights, for the establishment of genuine social dialogue in the Arab countries, for the creation of decent jobs, in particular for young people, as well as for the defence of the rights of migrant workers and those in the informal economy. The struggle for women’s rights, which are particularly repressed in the Arab region, and for a more equitable participation of women within trade unions is equally a fundamental priority on the agenda of the democratic and independent Arab trade union movement.
And this is already having first effects. More and more Arab women are finding ways to organise for a better future through trade union solidarity across borders. This year in March, about 33 women trade unionists from across the Middle East and North Africa participated in a regional women’s leadership conference which took place in Tunisia. They shared experiences and brainstormed on ways to advance women’s equality in their workplaces and respective countries. Those meetings do not only improve the women’s self-confidence, they also make them even more aware of the fact that they are also part of the revolutions and that they have great potential and capacity that will bring them further in the fight for their rights.