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Strengthening women’s rights in the textile sector in Bogor

In the footsteps of the trade mission in Indonesia

The new CNV Internationaal President Anneke Westerlaken and CNV Internationaal lobbyist Anne Dankert visited Indonesia last week. During the Dutch  trade mission, they visited various places with Minister Kaag of the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. They met garment workers and participants in the Young Leaders programme. They discussed social dialogue and the importance of collective agreements.

CNV Internationaal President Westerlaken and lobbyist Dankert began the visit in Bogor with a conversation including workers in a textile factory. They spoke with management and members of Garteks, the trade union for the textile industry and CNV Internationaal partner union. Important topics for conversation included social dialogue and the programme to fight sexual harassment and violence at work.

Gender Issues Training

In cooperation with factory management, Garteks has created a training for workers on gender issues. This addresses their rights as workers. An example of a training topic is the importance of female workers’ safety and well-being, especially when they are pregnant or menstruating.

“Creating consciousness and making conversation possible on these issues is important. Garteks’ training on sexual harassment and violence at work is an example for other unions, for workers, and for factories in the textile industry.” says Westerlaken.

Next week Garteks will hold its annual conference and this training will be highlighted.

ILO convention ratification is crucial

Indonesia has a lack of legal standards when it comes to fighting sexual harassment and violence at work. Therefore, getting ILO Convention 190 quickly ratified and implemented is extremely important. This agreement was adopted in June 2019 by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN organisation for work. This convention makes it easier for all workers and companies to take measures if they encounter sexual harassment and violence at work.

CNV Internationaal and Garteks are calling the Indonesian government to implement the agreement into their national legislation. CNV Internationaal also supports training women factory workers in order to make their position stronger and to enable them, together with their unions, to fight for their rights.

Publication date 25 03 2020