Our programme on Advancing Gender Equality in the World of Work envisions a dignified and decent world of work for women. It challenges the problematic narratives and concepts that dominate the discourse on women’s human rights in the world of work and the instrumentalist gender approach to the women and work agenda. It continues our work in cross-movement building and sustains the gains we have made in terms of connecting the women’s rights and labour rights movements, addressing immediate concerns related to labour rights such as wage equality, decent work, access to social protection, right to unionisation and collective bargaining.
The prevalent rhetoric surrounding women’s participation in economic activities, such as promoting female labour force participation, fails to understand the underlying root causes of gender inequality in the world of work and pays insufficient attention to women’s ‘agency’ and connections to unpaid work and the care economy. Such approaches can lead to women’s entrapment in inherently exploitative structures and in survival livelihoods which do not enable them to escape the poverty trap. Inclusion in the current patriarchal capitalist systems without any form of protection, or any mechanisms for accelerating their equality and status in society, is counter-intuitive to achieving women’s human rights.