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“Gender mainstreaming” and how to get more of it is the theme of a new publication from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Released in November 2007, “Action Programme on achieving gender equality in trade unions” defines gender mainstreaming as “an organisational strategy to achieve and maintain gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

While stating that headway has been made, the ITUC agrees that “there is still much to be done to ensure stronger mainstreaming of gender issues, greater consistency across policy areas, improved awareness of gender perspectives, and fairer distribution of resources.”

The program outlines seven areas where women’s rights must be defended and enhanced worldwide. They are education and training, employment and equal pay, social protection with particular focus on maternity protection and access to health care, family responsibilities, harassment and violence against women, freedom of association, and integration into trade unions.

Specific measures for trade unions are recommended to end gender discrimination and promote full participation of women. Also, the ITUC women’s committee offers a charter on the rights of working women, action on International Women’s Day (March 8), and a Guide on Sexual Harassment.

For a copy of the document, go to http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/Gender_Equality_-_action_programme_E.pdf.