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Empowering women at work

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The number of female members in the women’s committees working in the trade unions has touched 185 while the number of female members in the administrative bodies of trade unions has reached 63 members, according to the annual report published by the General Federation of Workers (GFOW) of the Sultanate of Oman.

The report, released on the training programmes for female members for the year 2021 further says that there are 33 committees for working women in the trade unions and as many as 14 female union members participated in collective negotiations with employers, statistics which is attributed to the increased women empowerment programmes.

In her message on the Omani Women's Day (OWD) 2021, Her Excellency Dr Laila bint Ahmed al Najar, Minister of Social Development, has said that the nation is seeking to have a more effective role for women's associations in the country which will help them contribute better to the Renewed Renaissance march.

"Omani women have been conquering greater heights over the past few decades and they are not second to men but partners in nation building process," she said.

"Women have been given due importance and reservations in the various committees of the GFOW and kudos to all women who found techniques and mechanisms for forming and empowering women’s committees," said Khawla bint Ali al Haniah, Chairperson of the Working Women’s Committee at the GFOW.

A review of the laws and regulations that protect women at the working place was conducted by the annual meeting.

"Despite the nature of any work she is involved, there are challenges faced by working women, which we strive to develop appropriate plans to solve and overcome them in the coming period," Khawla added.

Statistics published in the annual report of the General Federation of the Sultanate of Oman’s Workers for the year 2020 indicate that the women's training was conducted to complement the efforts of the GFOW and its interest in working women in general and union women in particular, and to highlight the importance of investing in women’s competencies within the union's framework to enhance their capabilities.

Mona Ezzat, consultant in training on labour and gender issues, addressed the challenges facing women in occupying leadership positions and integrating them into union structures and decision-making positions, and the reasons for the limited representation of women in union structures, including their lack of knowledge of the role of the union and the importance of its existence.

Najwa Bakkar, assistant general secretary at the Basic Syndicate of Secondary Education in Sakiet El-Daer, Sfax – Tunisia, conducted a review of the experience of the Tunisian Labour Confederation in the field of working women’s committees, and the role of women union leaders in integrating women into union work,

"Working women have a better role in striking a perfect balance between their jobs and family and together, let's raise the professional and cultural level of working women and increase their awareness of their rights and duties," Khawla said.

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