The International Labour Organisation (ILO), Chennai, has asked women workers to list gender-related and other issues, so as to bring it to the notice of the Chief Minister and the Law Minister for early action, said National Programme Manager, ILO, Susamma Varghese, on Tuesday.

Addressing a ‘State-level workshop on gender equality and gender mainstreaming for the six national trade unions in Tamil Nadu,' she said that after collating the information about “burning” problems faced by women workers in everyday life in each district and zone in the State, a women's mela would be held in the city in December.

Some of the outstanding issues raised by the members related to gender discrimination with regard to minimum wages, lack of safety measures for women workers in various sectors, denial of promotions and maternity benefits.“Only four months are left in this year and we have to establish some activities to create a base for you to ensure that gender equality and gender mainstreaming are ensured both at the organisation level as well as various work places. We have already formed a working group at the State-level. We have to form such groups at grass root-level to ensure they are effective and active,” she said.

The main objective of the workshop was to educate and orient the national trade union leaders and cadre on gender equality and gender mainstreaming.

The workshop was attended by 36 Zonal-level trade union leaders from various districts and six State-level leaders representing the AITUC, BMS, CITU, HMS, INTUC and LPF.

“Women have fair representation in trade unions. But, how many of them are present in executive committees and have a say in decision making process? The main objective of this activity is to create awareness and bring in more women into the decision making positions in their respective unions and to address women's issues both in society as well as the various workplaces,” she said.

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