Trade unionist women in Bolivia, a story of continuous struggle

The participation of women for the conquest of their rights has been a constant dynamic in the history of Bolivia; women from different sectors have not only demanded and proposed, but have also made important advances in the long journey for social justice with gender equality.

An example of this is the Red de Mujeres Trabajadoras y Sindicalistas de Bolivia (RMTSB) that has been working, for almost two decades, in the coordination of salaried and non-salaried workers in the country, with the aim of debating and constructing proposals on issues related to work and their situation in the unions and outside of them.

Trade unionist women in Bolivia for their labor rights

Thus, the RMTSB has been promoting spaces for empowerment and awareness about the problem of social injustice that emerges from social interrelationships at home, at work and in the union, and that establish the reality of social injustices for women. Likewise, they enhance the voice of women through political advocacy around decent work that is friendly to the environment, workplace harassment, and labor rights, among other aspects.

«I feel strengthened and with aspirations to continue growing, contributing and sharing knowledge with other colleagues and young women to make a more just and egalitarian society.» (Jeanneth Rosario Pérez, trade unionist, Bolivia).

Workplace harassment prohibited

Among the most important achievements of these brave women is the inclusion of article 49, paragraph III in the Political Constitution of the State, which prohibits all forms of workplace harassment. As well as Municipal Law 175 for the Promotion of Human Development of Salaried Domestic Workers, which was approved on March 30, 2016, on the day of domestic workers. This Law focuses on promoting human development with equal opportunities, empowerment, violence prevention and the generation of entrepreneurship for salaried domestic workers.

Currently, Red is socializing its strategic proposal to insert, in the union agenda, crucial issues oriented towards women workers and the union movement as a whole, in order to achieve a full exercise of their rights and influence the transformation of the society. This proposal has four thematic axes: environmental crisis, productive development with a gender perspective, full participation of women in the union movement, and political union training with a gender perspective.

«Our strategic proposal was born to strengthen the union movement from the perspective of working women, who we contribute for transformation and social justice based on gender equality and sustainable development.» (Norka Flores, trade unionist, Bolivia).

They ask for the Ratification of ILO Convention 190

In this sense, within the framework of 8M – International Women’s Day, we recall that it is essential that the State creates decent employment with equal opportunities for men and women in all instances, assumes the task of «democratizing the tasks of the family care” and propose ways and mechanisms to achieve this in practice. On the other hand, it is essential to strengthen the Bolivian trade union movement with the participation, representation and visibility of the workers of the different labor sectors, their problems and specific proposals. From Alianza por la Solidaridad / Action Aid Bolivia we are committed to this fight.

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