Melisa R. Serrano and Verna Dinah Q. Viajar

Transformative strategies towards gender equality in trade unions

Tools and strategies for change and sustaining progress towards gender equality in trade unions.

Historically, trade unions have been seen as “organisations of brotherhood”. But today about 40 per cent of the global labour force is female and it is of strategic importance for unions – who are struggling with member losses and political marginalization in many places – to seriously include women and their interests. Not only to build their membership base, but also to consolidate their societal influence, especially in a changing world of work.

Therefore, the FES Gender Justice Hub Asia set out to learn more about trade unions’ practices in supporting change towards gender equality and create a platform for exchange among champions and proponents of gender equality in trade unions in Asia and beyond. In Transformative Strategies Towards Gender Equality in Trade Unions, authors Melisa R. Serrano and Verna Dinah Q. Viajar explore strategies, ideas, and methods to address gender equality in unions, through educational work, advocacy, networking efforts and others means. On this journey we were joined by almost 40 inspiring unionists from national union federations from nine countries as well as several regional and global union confederations.

The handbook not only provides insights of how engaged unionists raise issues of gender justice, but also how they turn their unions into agents of change in the world of work and the wider society to bring about a more just future. In this way, it provides a starting point for conversations on what works and what does not work in transforming unions and we hope it will also offer a platform for unionists to share their experiences, ideas and knowledge on advancing gender justice!


What’s inside the handbook?

  • Core strategic arguments for why trade unions should include gender issues in their policy agendas and work towards more gender equal representation in leadership
  • Explanations of how gender equality boosts union power
  • An outline of the necessary conditions to make union approaches, strategies, and initiatives more gender-just
  • Ideas, strategies, and methods to address gender equality in processes and activities
  • Strategies as well as specific methods which feminist activists in trade union movements have been using to put their strategic approach into action
  • Case studies of successful union initiatives to support gender equality  
Transformative strategies towards gender equality in trade unions

Serrano, Melisa R.; Viajar, Verna Dinah Q.

Transformative strategies towards gender equality in trade unions

A handbook
Kathmandu, 2022

Download publication (870 KB, PDF-File)

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