On 16 October before the official start of the ITF Asia Pacific Regional Conference (APRC), ITF Vice President (Women), Sister Mary chaired the Women’s Conference, spearheading and strengthening the collective voice for better working conditions for women transport workers around the region.
Sister Mary opened the floor to provide opportunities for women from different countries and sectors to share on the work that they have been involved in to enable women transport workers and reducing gender-based occupational segregation in the global transport industry. From the efforts and challenges that were shared at the session, Sister Mary on behalf of the Women Workers’ Conference provided recommendations at the APRC that called for greater commitment general equality, and the implementation of measures to support the goals of the ITF Global Women’s Team, as well as the women representatives from the various National Coordinating Committees.
On the same day, a fringe session was hosted on the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 190, which recognises the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment. Sister Mary chaired the session which welcomed both male and female delegates who believe in creating a safe workplace for everyone. Together with her ITF counterparts, Sister Mary shared with participants about the C190 Transport Toolkit which was launched in 2021, and consists of eight briefings focusing on aspects of violence and harassment that affect transport workers most significantly. The toolkit is useful for raising awareness, promoting ratification and implementation, and encourage unions to plan and organise campaign on violence and harassment.
As women continues to make up a small minority of transport workers around the world, the two sessions were useful in educating and galvanising ITF delegates to give their support, so that women can work safely, with equal opportunities in Transport Sectors around the world.