Radio feature on women in trade unions in Africa

A poster recognising women's role in the struggle. Pic from www.saha.org.za

A radio feature on women’s participation and influence in trade unions on the continent. Produced by WWMP in 2014.

Throughout history women have played a significant role in changing societies. Black working class women were at the forefront of struggles against colonisation in Africa that were led by liberation movements and the trade unions. A study conducted in 8 African countries by the African Labour Research Network revealed that there are few women in positions of influence or power in trade unions, even where they constitute the majority of members. The radio feature that follows was produced in 2014 and it explores the causes of women’s poor participation and lack of leadership in trade unions.

Trade unions are well positioned to fight women’s oppression and the fight should not take place on paper through policy documents but in real actions that are taken from workplace level to the communities. Also trade unions have to pressurise those in power to address the socio-economic factors that keep women oppressed.

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