At the bottom of this article, you will find the translation into the other working languages of the ILO.

For International Women’s Day 2023, the Staff Union invited you to share your ideas on what we could do to promote gender equity. We thank the many of you who came to share a coffee with us, and write your ideas on our purple post-its! Rest assured we read and noted each and every one.

We have done our best to address as many of your comments as we can. So, please find below part 1 of the Chairperson’s responses to the general ideas and themes you shared.

Ensure women are promoted to P5 and D-level! And make sure to retain your women interns + P1/2 + JPO to make sure the future of the ILO is gender equal

We can only agree to the need to provide more career opportunity to women, who remain “stuck” and question the current mobility policy which is the basis for recruitment and selection. We would certainly take this into account in the upcoming mobility negotiations. It is fine to appoint women to very senior positions, as the DG is currently priding himself on, but the SU would question whether only very few of them come from “inside”. Some recent promotions of women at the UN level could also question whether, at the end, ILO female leaders find more recognition outside than inside. Food for thought…

Value women’s work at ILO. Women do a lot of logistic and coordination work, and this type of work is still not recognized at some level than other work

Would the revision of the generic JD be a good opportunity? We ask that the G Job Descriptions for HQ be now considered. It would be good to inquire whether the review of the JD for G positions in the field have provided some good opportunity for a better recognition.

La politique de mobilité au BIT :
• Est-ce qu’elle s’aligne à celle des Nations Unies ? C’est à dire qu’elle ne concerne pas les fonctionnaires recrutés avant sept 2021 ?
• Je trouve qu’en général, cette politique ne respecte pas trop la situation des femmes. Les femmes ne peuvent pas facilement être …. Vu leurs responsabilités familiales ou autres ? SVP Pensez-y !

The ILO mobility policy can be found at the following link Mobility and it applies to all. You can also find at the end of that link, the Staff Regulation and the specific IGDS which dates from 2016. It is based on a request from the DG, and takes into account the need to review some of the dimensions and shortcomings identified that the Administration and the Staff Union have agreed to consider in the revision of the mobility policy in their programme of the Joint Negotiating Committee.

I can only agree, and my personal path, which is also I believe typical of a number of colleagues, and has also made me convinced: I started in the ILO with a very precarious contract in a country which was not my home country but where I was for my academic studies. During 10 years, I was single which made it “easier” to move to other duty stations, accept to have very short-term contract extensions, working hard and being always on mission. When I finally met the one who is now my partner and father of our 2 kids, the responsibilities have completely changed – and priorities… I looked around me and was astonished to see that I could hardly find a role model of women in ILO leadership/senior positions, with appointments in various duty stations (in their 35/55’s), and manage to protect spouses’ and kids’ interests.
The very few in the ILO should certainly speak up and share their experience.. and I am convinced we need to take this into account when talking about mobility..

Tenir compte des responsabilités familiales des collègues dans l’organisation des réunions internes (cela concerne en majorité les femmes mais pas seulement)

Nous espérons que la nouvelle politique d’aménagement du temps de travail permettra effectivement une meilleure prise en compte des responsabilités familiales et laissera la place à un meilleur équilibre dans le jonglage des différentes responsabilités. Ainsi, la possibilité d’avoir des heures de travail flexibles est prévue pour toutes les catégories de collègues, entre 7h et 19h, avec des périodes d’heures de travail « cœur » (core hours) pour tous et identiques pour tous les collègues d’un même lieu d’affection – certains bureaux ne les avaient pas encore.

Consider more flexible teleworking policies for better work-life balance for women

Yes! This was definitely high in our minds when negotiating the new Flexible Work Arrangement Policy, and we look forward to being able to implement, test, and monitor the results! We will need your support and feedback to let us know how it works.

So, as to the question of what we could do to promote gender equity (if anything) …. my overall comment on this is YES, we can do things, but, as is often the case for the Staff Union, the most we can actually do is raise the concerns, share the ideas (like those below) and ask, ask, ask that they be taken into account.

Voici plusieurs remarques qui ne nécessitaient pas de réponses :

Les droits des femmes c’est tous les jours et pas seulement le 8 mars
Continuez comme cela ! Vous le faites bien !
Un jour de congé pour la femme
Egalité et transparence
Assumer la part féminine qui est en chacun d’entre nous, hommes !
More events!
For today, I hope for a day where women can feel free to be how they are and not feel forced to conform to any norms, and where wearing PINK doesn’t belittle them to singly being women but rather human
Today and always is women’s day
We don’t want chocolates we want equal rights!
Today is also our day. We stand by you always. We are looking forward
Respect women as you respect yourself
Keep leaning in and opening wide!

Version française: Ici

Spanish version: here

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