4 March 2010

Gender and employment inter-relationships discussed at ILC Committee on Employment

The strategies used to ensure gender issues are crosscutting across the employment objectives of ILO work were highlighted during a meeting of the Committee on the Recurrent Item on Employment, held during the 99th session of the International Labour Conference.

“The 2009 Resolution of the Conference concerning gender equality at the heart of decent work was timely”, said GENDER Director Jane Hodges, who with the Executive Directors of the four headquarters-based sectors briefed Committee members during the meeting. “The Conclusions within the Resolution examined the current state of women in the labour market and progress – along with challenges – for gender equality. They also outlined the roles of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations and the ILO by identifying ways forward”.

These ways forward were summarized in a power point slide, which was part of a joint presentation by the five speakers. The slide shows how the gender dimensions of employment are being addressed through a rights-based and economic efficiency approach. An accompanying explanation of these dimensions was provided, which was summarized in speaking points.

The task of the Committee – made up of representatives of governments, and workers’ and employers’ organizations attending the annual Conference – was to exchange views and experiences on the strategic objective of employment. This dialogue, the first in a cycle of recurrent discussions to follow-up on the 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, results in a set of Conclusions that are considered for adoption by the Conference.

The Committee on Gender Equality, which met during the 2009 Conference and which produced the report and Conclusions on gender, used Report VI entitled "Gender equality at the heart of decent work" as background for its discussion. Report VI highlights gender dimensions through its chapters using a life-cycle approach.

Provisional Record 18 entitled "A Discussion on the strategic objective of employment - Report of the Committee for the Recurrent Discussion on Employment" highlights gender dimensions. These include in Point 6, paragraphs 100 to 117 and especially paragraphs 105, 107 and 109. The report's Conclusions also highlight gender dimensions including in paragraphs 10, 31, 36 (vii), 41 (iii) and 44 (v).