Year-long UN campaign spotlights gender equality in the workplace

Year-long UN campaign spotlights gender equality in the workplace

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The United Nations labour agency is launching a year-long global campaign to highlight how various issues in the workplace affect men and women in different ways, in particular in accessing rights, employment and social protection.

“Although progress is being made, gender equality is still lagging behind in the rapidly changing world of work,” said Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

“By increasing overall awareness and understanding of gender equality issues, we can actively contribute to securing decent work for all women and men,” he added.

For the past decade the agency has been working to redress gender-based inequalities in policies, programmes and projects, and to promote women’s empowerment, through its gender-mainstreaming strategy.

The new campaign, built around 12 themes, will lead into a general discussion on gender equality at the heart of decent work at the International Labour Conference in June 2009.

“During the next 12 months we will actively reach out to our constituents and other international partners, provide information on different themes and facilitate access to a body of material that the ILO has developed on gender equality around the world,” said Evy Messell, Director of the agency’s Bureau for Gender Equality.

At the 2009 conference, delegates from governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations of ILO member States will be able to study the issues and draft a plan of action to promote gender equality for the next decade.