SADTU 2016 International Women`s Day Message

8 March 2016

The South African Democratic Teachers` Union (SADTU) as an affiliate of global teacher and educational personnel union federation Education International (EI), joins the world in celebrating 8 March, International Women`s Day under the United Nation`s theme "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equality".

The Day serves to honour the strides women have made towards the attainment of their rights and equality at home, workplace and in society in general.

We applaud and honour the struggle of trade unions towards ensuring women`s economic empowerment and parity. Women`s structures and gender equality policies within trade unions have been central to women`s union activities. As education union activists, women leaders who are members of EI`s member organisations also ensure gender equality within education. In the run-up to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG`s), these efforts including ensuring that gender equality issues were not overlooked among the chosen targets and indicators that will measure fulfilment of the Education Goal by 2030.

As a response to the theme to "step it up for gender equality", the National Executive Committee of SADTU, in its last meeting held on 19 February 2016, re-affirmed the Union`s commitment to gender equality and acknowledged that it is a human right issue that affects us all and is central to the democratic functioning of our unions and societies. The NEC, resolved commit to:

  • Make it possible for women to engage in unionism by ensuring that union meetings, processes and activities are more gender-sensitive;
  • Increase the number of women in leadership positions;
  • Formerly integrate gender equality concerns into collective bargaining processes;
  • Intensify efforts to close the gender pay and pension gaps

The Union will further hold events across all nine provinces to mark International Women`s Day on the 11th and 12th of March, 2016.