Women Transport Workers Stand By Their Middle East And North Africa Colleagues

Women transport workers have expressed their solidarity with, and admiration for, their trade union colleagues in the Middle East and north Africa who have fought for change in the region.

In a statement released by members of the ITF women's committee (who met in London on 11 and 12 April) they emphasised how women workers had been pivotal in bringing about change in the region.

They said: "In Tunisia and Egypt, women workers, including women transport workers, were instrumental in achieving the amazing changes that took place.

"Women are active in the struggles for democratic progress and to build new unions in Bahrain, and in the ongoing and desperate fight to safeguard lives in Libya and Yemen. In Algeria, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan also, women are seeking to promote openness and dialogue, and we, the ITF women's committee, watch, applaud and support your efforts."

Alison McGarry, ITF women's coordinator, said: "Women are an integral part of it of the force for change in the Middle East. We look forward to welcoming to the Arab women's committee women activists and leaders who will emerge from new free trade unions in Syria, Libya and Yemen."

During the meeting, participants focused on other key issues, including ensuring that women take their rightful place in leadership positions. They heard how the ITF leadership programme was offering up an opening for organising young workers, boosting women's confidence and encouraging them to join unions.

Ekaterina Yordanova, chair of the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria, commented: "There's often a gap between being elected into a leadership position and staying in that position. It's about the support needed to continue."

Delegates also discussed ways of organising more women workers, particularly those in precarious employment, and monitoring women's participation.

The MUA is proud to participate and be an active part of the ITF Women's Committee, and to be a fighting union for international women's equality.

You can watch the ITF Women's Committee's video of solidarity by clicking here.