International Women’s Day 2023

On this International Women’s Day, workers around the world call for a gender-transformative New Social Contract that prioritises equality, inclusion, peace and democracy.

The ITUC celebrates women activists and leaders who stand up against attacks on peace and democracy across the globe. We celebrate the role women play to resolve conflicts, to build peace and to mobilise in support of their communities in times of crisis.

In particular, we acknowledge the heavy price being paid by women in Afghanistan, Iran, Ukraine and other countries suffering ongoing conflict and state violence.

In Iran, following the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini by the agents of the misogynistic repressive regime, women have bravely protested across the country to demand their rights despite threats to their lives and freedoms. Hundreds of people have been killed during the protests, others have been sentenced to death and at least 15,000 have been arrested.

Women and girls in Afghanistan continue to face violence and threats from the Taliban regime for demanding their rights to work and to education. Workers around the world stand in solidarity with Iranian and Afghan women and demand that the regimes in both countries end their violent policies and respect the rights of women.

Devastating conflicts

The war on Ukraine by Russia has seen the torture and massacre of civilians, including women and children, and the deliberate targeting of crucial civilian infrastructure. Such brutality has left people in dire conditions and destroyed thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. Trade unions call for the full respect of international law without exception.

Devastating conflicts, such as those in in Syria, Tigray, Yemen and elsewhere continue to end lives prematurely and destroy futures. We recognise the women who work on the frontlines in these man-made disasters to assist their communities, and also the women who continue to help the victims of the devastating earthquakes in February that killed over 40,000 people and displaced many more in Turkey and Syria.

Women continue to defend democracy around the world. In Myanmar, on 1 February we marked the second anniversary of the military coup where women workers and other protesters have continued to face assaults for calling for sanctions to be placed on the military junta and for demanding a return to democracy.

In Brazil, women workers were among the union members who defended their democratically elected government in January against the far-right attacks on the Supreme Court, the National Congress, and Presidential Palace.

Where democracy is in place, such as in the USA, women continue to fight for gender justice for their reproductive rights. Democracies are not immune to autocratic tendencies that threaten workers’ rights and people’s lives. As the political forces of the extreme right continue to gain traction in many countries, racism, xenophobia, and discrimination targeting women, migrant workers, LGBTQI+ people, indigenous people and people of colour is on the rise.

While women are at the centre of these attacks, they are also in the forefront of struggles against them.

“Peace and democracy cannot be achieved without full equality and inclusion of women” said Akiko Gono, ITUC President. “The trade union movement will redouble efforts to ensure the inclusive nature of their own structures, agendas and processes to achieve equal and equitable representation of women in their leadership.” (sumber; ITUC-CSI.ORG)