Inspiring inclusion, igniting change: International Women’s Day 2024

International Women’s Day (IWD) has always been a key date in the trade union calendar, and women have long played a leading role in the labour movement. In fact, IWD was originally known as International Working Women’s Day, and was held to honour a strike by women garment workers in the USA. Subsequently the day became a rallying point for the political, social and economic freedom of women around the world, a struggle that continues to this day, and one trade unions must be at the forefront of.

With almost one million women members, UNISON is the largest organisation of women in the UK, and rightfully plays a leading role in negotiating and campaigning on women’s rights at work and in the community. Women still earn a lot less than men and face discrimination and harassment at work. Our members also juggle work and home commitments. Many have caring responsibilities and almost half work part-time.

In the South East, our women’s committee is the key democratic forum for taking this fight to the heart of the union, workplaces, and society at large. It campaigns for improvements to women’s rights, and strives to transform women’s lives: at home, in the workplace, and in their communities. If you’re a member of a branch in the region who self-identifies as a woman, consider getting involved. We have eight open seats following the 2023 AGM, and are calling on women in the region to nominate by midday on Thursday 28 March 2024.

It’s an exciting opportunity to represent women in the region, and a full committee will help to ensure women members have a powerful voice in our regional democracy.

Want to get involved? Chat with your branch and make sure it’s discussed and voted on at the next committee meeting. Alternatively, ask another woman member to nominate you. Self-nomination isn’t allowed, but you can nominate others in an individual capacity. If you’d like to nominate someone else, just have a quick chat with them first.

Nominate to the regional women’s committee

Read a guest blog on inspiring inclusion as a Black woman trade unionist