Cosatu policy and Procedure for the Handling Prevention and Elimination of Sexual Harassment
[su_expand more_text=”Open” less_text=”Close” more_icon=”icon: briefcase” less_icon=”icon: briefcase”]
1. Background 1.1. COSATU committed itself to “fight against sexual harassment in whatever form it occurs” at its Inaugural Congress in December 1985. The COSATU Women’s Conference in 1989 noted that “women workers are sexually harassed within the union, at work and in the community” and resolved to “encourage firmness and self-discipline within the unions, at work and in the community” in order to “restore women’s dignity” and “protect them from sexual harassment.”
1.2. The COSATU Congress in 1989 confronted the issue of sexual harassment in greater depth, including the thorny issue of sexual politics in unions (which refers to sexual relationships within unions fraught with unequal and oppressive gender power relations). This laid the basis for the development of a COSATU Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment, which was further discussed in the 1994 Congress and finally adopted in 1995.
1.3. COSATU also recognised that sexual harassment must be codified in legislation as an offence, and thus COSATU was the initiator and one of themain drafters of the NEDLAC Code of Good Practice on the handling of cases of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, which was adopted in 1998 as an addendum to the Labour Relations Act, and later amended and attached to the Employment Equity Act of 2005.
1.4. The report of the September Commission in 1997 on the Future of Unions acknowledged that Sexual Harassment remains a hidden problem in COSATU. It further acknowledged the adoption of the COSATU Code of Conduct on Sexual Harassment (1995) had created conditions to make the issue an organisational one, rather than a private or individual matter. The issue of sexual harassment was further discussed in subsequent COSATU Congresses and Gender Conferences and included in its Gender Policy of 2000 (amended in 2015).
1.5. On the basis of COSATU’s resolutions, campaigns and experience in the struggle against sexual harassment, this policy is informed by a three-fold approach to sexual harassment, which includes:
1.5.1. The responsibility to ensure the effective handling of cases of sexual harassment through decisive action and clear procedures, 1.5.2. Measures to prevent sexual harassment (including awareness raising and clear policies), and 1.5.3. The commitment to work towards the elimination of sexual harassment in COSATU, Affiliates, workplaceand in society.
1.6. This Policy serves to consolidate and update previous policies and resolutions of COSATU and shall, in the event of any dispute arising, take precedence.
2. South African Legislative framework 2.1. This policy is further supported by the South African legislative framework which outlaws sexual harassment, through the following: • The Constitution of South Africa, 1996 • The Employment Equity Act, No 55 of 1998 • The Amended Code of Good Practice on Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases in the Workplace addendum to EEA, 2005 • The Protection from Harassment Act, Act No 17 of 2011 • Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, No 32 of 2007 2.2. This policy is further supported by international policies and legislation such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the ILO Convention 111 on non-discrimination, amongst others. 2.3. This policy should be read in conjunction with the COSATU Constitution.
3. Purpose The purpose of this Policy and Procedure is to: 3.1. Promote a safe and secure work environment in which the dignity of all persons is respected and which is free from sexual harassment; 3.2. Ensure that no COSATU leader, staff member or member of an Affiliate implicitly or explicitly demands sexual favours in return for representation, employment, retention of employment, promotion orto secure a wage increase, amongst others; 3.3. Provide clear procedures for dealing with issues and complaints of sexual harassment which may arise and to prevent its recurrence; 3.4. Ensure that sexual harassment cases are dealt with in a sensitive, honest, speedy and confidential manner; 3.5. Meet the requirements of the Constitution of South Africa, the Employment Equity Act, Labour Relations Act and the 2005 Amended Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases; and 3.6. Comply with the letter and spirit of the COSATU Constitution, COSATU Resolutions and COSATU Gender Policy.
4. Scope of this policy and procedure 4.1. This policy applies to all members, shop stewards, office bearers, appointed officials, and staff of COSATU and its Affiliates. 4.2. The Federation encourages Affiliates to develop and adopt their own sexual harassment policies suited to their particular conditions, guided by this policy. In cases where Affiliates have not yet adopted a policy, the COSATU policy and procedure will apply and shall be used to deal with cases of sexual harassment where they arise, and prevent their future occurrence. 4.3. This policy also covers third parties e.g. job applicants, vendors, suppliers and service providers, and any other organisations and/or persons having dealings with COSATU and its Affiliates. This is notwithstanding the fact that where the third party is the perpetrator, COSATU may not have disciplinary authority. However, COSATU can require that service providers commit contractually that their representatives will not engage in any form of sexual harassment. 5. What is sexual harassment? 5.1. Definition of sexual harassment 5.1.1. Any conduct of a sexual nature and other conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women and men, which is unwelcome, unreasonable, demeaning, compromising, embarrassing, threatening, humiliating and/or offensive to the recipient. 5.1.2. Where a person’s rejection of, or submission to, such conduct is used explicitly or implicitly as a basis for a decision which affects that person’s job or position in the union. 5.1.3. Conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or humiliating working and/or organisational environment for the recipient. 5.1.4. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal harassment. 5.1.5. Sexual harassment is most commonly perpetrated by men towards women as a result of sexism and the unequal power relations that exist between them, however it is also possible that men may experience sexual harassment. 5.2. Same-sex harassment 5.2.1. Sexual Harassment can occur between people of the same sex, and is also covered by this policy and procedure. 5.3. Forms of harassment There are various forms of sexual harassment that range from subtle attention to the most extreme forms of violence, like rape. Examples of sexual harassment may include the following, but are not limited to the listed examples: 5.3.1. Physical form Touching, and any other bodily contact, such as patting, pinching, fondling, grabbing a person around the waist, interfering with a person’s ability to move, molestation, assault, attempted rape or rape. 5.3.2. Verbal form Sexual advances, repeated requests for a date that are turned down, unwanted flirting, telephone calls, text messages, emails or other forms of written and/or electronic transmission with sexual overtones, sex related jokes or insults, inappropriate enquiries about a person’s life, whistling, and comments about a person’s clothing and/or body. 5.3.3. Non-verbal form Leering/staring, winking, public display or posting/transmitting of emails or pictures of an offensive, sexually suggestive or derogatory nature, playing sexually suggestive music and indecent exposure. 5.3.4. Quid pro quo harassment Transactional sex (the demand for sexual favours) in return for, amongst others, a job, a promotion, favourable working conditions, retention of employment, improved benefits, or to secure a salary increase. This is also referred to as quid pro quo sexual harassment. This could also apply to the demand for sexual favours in return for representation by the union. 5.3.5. Sexual Favouritism Sexual favouritism occurs when a person who is in a position of power rewards only those who submit to his/her sexual advances. Other employees who do not submit to sexual advances are unfairly treated in the union or at work, for example, being denied promotions, salary increases, or victimised through unfair disciplinary measures being instituted against them. 5.3.6. Hostile work and organisational environment 188.8.131.52. Where there is unfair treatment of a person who refuses sexual advances, or a current or former sexual partner, this creates a hostile work and organisational environment and constitutes sexual harassment. 184.108.40.206. Similarly, unfair treatment of a current or former sexual partner, or a person refusing sexual advances, which may be interpreted as creating the conditions for that person to resign from the job or the union, also constitutes sexual harassment. 220.127.116.11. Staff or union members can experience indirect sexual harassment as a consequence of witnessing the sexual harassment of others. This has the effect of creating an intimidating and hostile work and organisational environment, since they may fear facing the same treatment. 18.104.22.168. Harassment and/or ridicule of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered and intersex individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or identity also contributes towards a hostile work and organisational environment and is considered an offence under this policy. 5.4. Conditions under which sexual attention becomes sexual harassment 5.4.1. Where the behaviour is persisted in, although a single incident of harassment can constitute sexual harassment; and/or 5.4.2. Where the recipient has made it clear that the behaviour is unwelcome and/or considered offensive. There are various ways in which this can be communicated, including stating that the behaviour is unwelcome, walking away and/or not responding; and/or 5.4.3. Where the perpetrator should have reasonably known that the behaviour is regarded as unacceptable. 5.4.4. The existence of a consensual sexual relationship does not imply that sexual harassment or sexual assault is not possible, since consent is a matter for continual negotiation and can be withdrawn at any time. 5.5. A note on Consensual Sexual Relationships 5.5.1. COSATU discourages union leaders and officials from becoming sexually involved with subordinates (including employees and union members) given the unequal power relationships that continue to exist. 5.5.2. Members of COSATU and Affiliates who decide to engage in consensual relationships must familiarise themselves with this policy and ensure that both parties are indeed engaged in the relationship consensually. 5.5.3. Both parties have the responsibility to ascertain consent, particularly those in positions of power. They must ensure that consent is explicitly and clearly communicated before proceeding with any form of sexual relationship. However, it must be recognised that a subordinate may feel pressured to consent because of fear of retaliation, and this does not constitute consent. 22.214.171.124. Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant at every stage of a sexual encounter. The absence of “no” should not be understood to mean there is consent. 126.96.36.199. A prior relationship does not indicate consent to future activity. 5.5.4. Both parties to be mindful that any sexual relationship should not impact on the organisation or working relationships. 6. Problem Statement 6.1. COSATU recognises that sexual harassment, sexual aggression and rape are forms of gender based violence, which constitute discrimination and abuse of women. 6.2. Gender-based violence is rife all over the world, as a result of patriarchy and the oppression of women. Violence against women is endemic in South Africa, partly as a result of the legacy of the brutality of slavery, colonialism and Apartheid, which also institutionalised gender based violence. It is further compounded by the extreme poverty and vulnerability experienced under neo-liberal capitalism. 6.3. The Federation further acknowledges that sexual harassment is an abuse of power, privilege, and control that makes the complainant feel intimidated and degraded. It is a barrier to equal rights and an unfair labour practice (in an employment relationship). The employer (in this case COSATU and its Affiliates) has a responsibility to ensure a workplace free from sexual harassment. 6.4. COSATU recognises that sexual harassment is, above all, a manifestation of power relations. Women are more likely to be subjected to sexual harassment because they are in more vulnerable and insecure positions in the economy and in society. This is mirrored in the trade union movement as a workplace and organisation.This means that COSATU and its members need to actively address unequal gender power relations and the manifestation of patriarchy within the Federation, where leadership remains dominated by men. This further perpetuates a climate of silencing and oppression of women. It is acknowledged that men may also experience sexualharassment. 6.5. COSATU and members realise that the threat of gender-based violence serves to reinforce unequal power relations, and contributes towards the fear of confronting and reporting sexual harassment and abuse. 6.6. Women who experience sexual violence and sexual harassment usually blame themselves (as does the society, for instance questioning their clothing, lifestyle and conduct that is assumed to have caused this). It is patriarchy and sexism which are to blame for sexualising, objectifying and demeaning women and then blaming them for it. 6.7. Sexual harassment is often invisible because the victims fear further humiliation and retaliation by those in power (who are often the perpetrators) and are therefore silenced. There is also a fear of lack of support (or victimisation) from comrades and/ or colleagues amongst victims of sexual harassment, because the perpetrators are often powerful in the workplace or organisation. 6.8. Victims of sexual harassment are also often intimidated from speaking up because they tend to be in more vulnerable socio-economic positions, and fear reprisals. 6.9. COSATU is concerned that in cases where victims do manage to speak out, they often succumb to emotional and psychological stresses resulting from a lack of support or pressure to withdraw, and end up abandoningcomplaints and/or cases and thus allowing the perpetrators to avoid being held accountable for their abusive behaviour. 7. Policy Statement 7.1. We, the leaders, Affiliate members and staff of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) commit to taking decisive action to eliminate sexual harassment in all its forms within the Federation, society, and more particularly, in the workplace. 7.2. COSATU is completely opposed to all forms of oppression and exploitation whatever the basis, and expresslycommitted to the struggle against the oppression of women. COSATU will continue to fight for the complete transformation of society to eradicate patriarchy and gender discrimination, racial discrimination, and class exploitation. 7.3. COSATU commits itself to re-building and strengthening democratic, worker controlled structures where the voices of all workers – womenand men, are heard; believing that this will help to create conditions for the elimination of women’s oppression and sexual harassment. 7.4. COSATU commits itself to the implementation of this policy and procedure in order to create a workplace and organisational environment that is free from sexual harassment, where worker leaders, elected officials and staff respect one another’s integrity and dignity and their right to equity in the workplace and organisation. 7.5. COSATU and its Affiliates have the obligation to take firm action against any form of sexual harassment, and to take preventative measures, including programmes to sensitise and educate members on sexual harassment and the creation of a climate which encourages victims to speak out against sexual harassment. 7.6. COSATU and its members shall ensure that no union official, worker leader or union member shall victimise or jeopardise the job security of any person raising a complaint of sexual harassment. 7.7. The Federation and its structures must necessarily work to remove the causes of sexual harassment, in addition to takingresolute steps to deal with cases of sexual harassment. This includes addressing unequal gender power relations within the Federation, in particular, male domination in leadership structures and positions, and a largely gender-blind implementation of policies. 7.8. COSATU further commits itself to recognising and valuing the contribution of women staff within the Federation, who remain in predominately administrative occupations. 8. Guiding Principles of the COSATU Procedure for Cases of Sexual Harassment 8.1. Confidentiality is key in the handling of sexual harassment cases. Any individual charged with the responsibility of handling a sexual harassment case is bound by this principle of confidentiality and non-disclosure in relation to any detail (other than to communicate the finding and the process of a hearing and not the details/content of the case and the witness statements). The two parties at the centre of a sexual harassment case are also bound by this principle. The Federation is not entitled to reveal the identity of the complainant without their express permission. 8.2. Sensitivity to the complainant in a case of sexual harassment is critical. This means that the committee members must ensure that s/he is supported through the hearing process such as ensuring that the complainant is not unduly exposed to the perpetrator or exposed to secondary harassment and/or pressure to withdraw the allegations by the alleged perpetrator or his/ her allies. 8.3. The employment security of the complainant shall be guaranteed. 8.4. Protection against victimisationof the complainant shall be assured. COSATU will permit no retaliation of any form against anyone who brings a complaint of sexual harassment or who speaks as a witness in the investigation and/or hearing of a complaint of sexual harassment. 8.5. Conflict of interest. Individuals who are handling a Sexual Harassment Case must recuse themselves if they believe that they have a conflict of interest which may be unfair to either the complainantor the alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment. 8.6. Fairness is key to the implementation of the COSATU sexual harassment policy and procedure. The complainant shall be treated fairly and without prejudice, in spite of the authority that the alleged perpetrator may wield in the union or in the workplace.The alleged perpetrator will be treated as innocent until found otherwise. 9. Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissions (SHPC) 9.1. Composition of the Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissions 9.1.1. COSATU and its Affiliates shall appoint standing Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissions at national, provincial and local levels.The commission should comprise of 4-6 members and there should be a gender balance (with at least 50% women). 9.1.2. The SHPC members shall include the following: 188.8.131.52. COSATU Gender Co-ordinator 184.108.40.206. COSATU Office bearers 220.127.116.11. Independent experts 18.104.22.168. COSATU staff member/s 9.1.3. Commissioners should be recommended by the COSATU National Gender Committee and endorsed by the COSATU Central Executive Committee. COSATU staff would also be entitled to recommend names through the staff representative structure. The proposed Commissioners should undergo a screening process through an independent institution such as the Commission for Gender Equality. 9.1.4. The commission members shall be trained as Sexual Harassment officers. They should be made known to members of the union and Federation. 9.2. Roles and Responsibilities of the Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissions 9.2.1. Be available, accessible and known to COSATU staff and Affiliate members as sources of support in cases of sexual harassment. 9.2.2. Be guided by principles of confidentiality, sensitivity, fairness, protection against victimisation, and act against any conflict of interest in dealing with sexual harassment (as elaborated in Section 8). 9.2.3. Provide support and advice directly (where they are able to do so), and refer for counselling and legal advice (where needed). 9.2.4. Support and assist in the resolution of cases of sexual harassment through the informal procedure (where appropriate). 9.2.5. Support the complainant to report cases requiring a formal disciplinary procedure to the relevant office bearers and the sexual harassment disciplinary committee (as described in Section 10). 9.2.6. Make sure that all allegations of sexual harassment are promptly investigated and that the formal disciplinary process is adhered to. 9.2.7. Raise awareness on sexual harassment through education throughout the Federation for both members and staff (working in collaboration with the COSATU Gender, Campaigns and Education Departments/committees). 9.2.8. Make representation to the Federation constitutional structures where the policy and procedure are not properly followed. 9.2.9. Report regularly to the relevant COSATU Office bearers, constitutional structure and gender committee on progress in the handling, prevention and elimination of sexual harassment. 9.2.10. Commission research on sexual harassment where needed (in consultation with the gender structure). 10. Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Committees 10.1. Composition of the Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissions 10.1.1. COSATU and its Affiliates shall appoint standing Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Committees at national, provincial and local levels (where possible).At local level the local office bearers may constitute gender-balanced ad-hoc committees. 10.1.2. The Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Committee members at all levels shall be trained to handle cases of sexual harassment. 10.1.3. The committees should comprise of 4-6 members and there should be a gender balance (with at least 50% women). 10.1.4. The members of the Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Committee shall include: 10.1.4.1. An independent chairperson (from outside of the Federation) 10.1.4.2. COSATU Office bearers (including office bearers designated to Gender) 10.1.4.3. COSATU Gender committee chairperson 10.1.4.4. Affiliate office bearers 10.2. Roles and Responsibilities of the Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Committees (SHDC) 10.2.1. Ensure that anindependent investigation has been conducted for presentation at the hearing. 10.2.2. Conduct a hearing in line with the COSATU disciplinary code. 10.2.3. Ensure that the complainant is not subjected to secondary harassment, by communicating with the alleged perpetrator (in writing) to ensure that s/he does not interfere with the complainant in any way, including using other people to intimidate the complainant. Inform the alleged perpetrator that third party harassment of the complainant would be attributed to him/her. 10.2.4. Arrive at a finding and present this finding in writing to the complainant and alleged perpetrator, and the relevant constitutional structure. 10.2.5. Ensure that the SHDC and the Federation structures adhere to the letter and spirit of this Policy and Procedure. 11. Duties of COSATU Office Bearers and Heads of Departments National, Provincial and Local Office Bearers and Heads of Departments are expected to familiarise themselves with this policy and are required to: 11.1. Create and maintain a safe environment that will not support or tolerate any form of sexual harassment; 11.2. Ensure that Federation staff members and Affiliates members are familiar with the policy and procedure; 11.3. Distribute the policy to every new staff member or Affiliate members and shop stewards as part of their shop steward kit or appointment document in a case of a new employee; 11.4. Take appropriate action in relation to complaints regarding sexual harassment in the trade union environment and workplace for which they are responsible; 11.5. Provide resources to put in placepreventative measures to ensure that Federation staff members and Affiliate members are familiar with the Sexual Harassment Policy, through intensive training and awareness-raising through various means e.g. visual and audio-visual material; 11.6. Ensure the establishment of Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissions with specially trained Sexual Harassment Commissioners, and Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Committees to deal with cases of sexual harassment at all levels (as outlined in the procedure above). 11.7. Align the COSATU disciplinary procedure with this procedure within four months of the adoption of this procedure. 12. Procedures for the handling of cases of sexual harassment 12.1. When a person has been sexually harassed 12.1.1. Sexual harassment is a sensitive issue and a complainant may feel unable to approach the perpetrator, lodge a formal grievance straight away, or turn to colleagues for support. 12.1.2. COSATU will designate Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissioners whomcomplainants may approach for support and practical advice on a confidential basis (as described in Section 9). 12.1.3. The Commissioners must have the appropriate skills, training and experience to fulfil their responsibilities (as outlined in Section9.2). 12.1.4. The Commissioners will assist the complainant by providing and/or arranging counselling; they will support the complainant to approach the Federation to report the case (as outlined below); and also provide advice and support in following either the informal or formal procedure (outlined below). 12.2. Options for handling sexual harassment cases 12.2.1. COSATU staff and members should be advised that there are two options for resolving a problem relating to sexual harassment. 12.2.2. Either an attempt can be made to resolve the problem in an informal manner or a formal procedure can be embarked upon. 12.2.3. The complainant should not be placed under duress to accept one or other option (noting 12.3.5 below). 12.3. Informal procedure 12.3.1. It may be sufficient for the complainant to have an opportunity to explain to the person engaging in the unwanted behaviour that the behaviour in question is not welcome, that it offends them or makes them uncomfortable, and that it interferes with their work. 12.3.2. The complainant could do any of the following, or a combination: 22.214.171.124. Approach the alleged perpetrator. 126.96.36.199. Write a letter to the alleged perpetrator. 188.8.131.52. Ask a Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissioner or an Office Bearer or staff representative or any other person to mediate or approach the alleged perpetrator on the complainant’s behalf. 12.3.3. The complainant and the alleged perpetrator shall be referred for counselling should they so wish. 12.3.4. Should the informal approach described in 12.3.2 above not have provided a satisfactory outcome; if the case is severe; or if the conduct continues, it may be more appropriate to embark upon a formal procedure. 12.3.5. The informal approach should not be used for severe cases that involve sexual assault, quid pro quo or persistent harassment. 12.3.6. Should the informal procedure described above be successful in resolving the matter, no disciplinary action needs to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. 12.4. Formal disciplinary procedure 12.4.1. Reporting a formal case of sexual harassment 184.108.40.206. When a COSATU staff member or union member or any other person wishes to lodge a grievance with the Federation about sexual harassment,the complainant or proxy (representative) must report the grievance to one of the following: 220.127.116.11.1. General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary or President when the case occurs at head office or national level; 18.104.22.168.2. Provincial Secretary or Chairperson at provincial level; 22.214.171.124.3. And/or the Chairperson of the Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Committee (SHDC) referred to in Section 10. 126.96.36.199.4. At local level, the grievance may be lodged with the local gender chairperson, local chairperson or any Local Executive Committee member. 188.8.131.52. The above-mentioned would then be required to initiate the processes outlined below and to deal with the complaint quickly and confidentially. 184.108.40.206. In the event that the relevant person with whom the complaint must be lodged is implicated in the case, or the complainant is uncomfortable with reporting to him/her, then the complaint may be lodged with any member of the Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Committee. 220.127.116.11. COSATU staff and members have an obligation to report cases of sexual harassment to the organisation. 12.4.2. The complainant shall submit her/ his complaint in writing detailing the incidents that constitute sexual harassment. 12.4.3. Independent investigation 18.104.22.168. The relevant authority to whom the case has been reported (mentioned under Section 22.214.171.124) should request a third party trained in the handling of cases of sexual harassment to conduct an investigation for presentation at the hearing. 126.96.36.199. The alleged perpetrator may be suspended during the course of the handling of the case if it is of a severe nature (as contemplated in clause 12.5.2); and/or if the alleged perpetrator may jeopardise the case by interfering, intimidating, manipulating or place the wellbeing or safety of the complainant and/or witnesses at risk. 188.8.131.52. The complainant may on his/her own request and the discretion of the independent investigator be granted special leave during the course of the handling of the case. Such special leave may not in any way be portrayed as suspension. 12.4.4. Disciplinary Hearing 184.108.40.206. The SHDC shall constitute a hearing on the matter within 10 days. 220.127.116.11. The SHDC Chairperson shall provide the parties concerned with notice of the hearing in writing not more than 3 days after the misconductwas reported and not less than 7 days in advance of the hearing. Such notice shall state the substance of the charge; and the date, time and venue for the hearing. 18.104.22.168. The notice shall advise the parties of the right to representation at the hearing by a fellow employee, a union representative or by any other person of their choosing. 22.214.171.124. The notice shall be issued directly to the person being charged. In the event where such person has not reported for work (or is on any kind of leave) the notice shall be sent by registered mail to the last known address of that person or by hand with acknowledgement of receipt. 126.96.36.199. The report of the independent investigator will be shared with both parties at least 48 hours before the date of commencement of the hearing. This is only to inform the complainant and alleged perpetrator,since it will be subjected to a rigorous inquiry where both parties can be heard through a fair process. 188.8.131.52. The alleged perpetrator and complainant will have the right to call and question witnesses. 184.108.40.206. The outcome of the disciplinary inquiry will be in writing and shall be communicated to the affected parties within 5 (five) working days, unless otherwise agreed to. 220.127.116.11. The SHDC Committee shall make recommendations where it applies for remedial action, and/or dismissal of staff /removal from office of elected worker leaders /expulsion of members to the PEC or CEC as the case may be and these structures can ratify recommendations before it can be enforced. Suspension may however be applied until ratification. 18.104.22.168. Disciplinary measures as per Section12.5shall be enforced by the SHDC and copies of the disciplinary measures shall be placed in the staff record file and for elected worker leaders and members in the said file and shall be kept for five years. 12.4.5. Upon failure by the Federation to hold a disciplinary inquiry, the complainant has the right to apply to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for redress.This is notwithstanding the fact that an employee has the right to approach the CCMA irrespective of whether the Federation takes action or not, since it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe working environment. 12.4.6. Where the perpetrator is found not guilty, there shall be no negative consequences for an employee who has filed a grievance in good faith. 12.4.7. Should a complaint be clearly proven to be vexatious and malicious, the Federation may decide to pursue disciplinary action against the complainant. 12.5. Disciplinary Measures 12.5.1. Disciplinary measures against the perpetrator could include the following, but shall not be limited to: 22.214.171.124. Counselling and Education 126.96.36.199. Community Service 188.8.131.52. Verbal warning 184.108.40.206. Recorded Verbal Warning 220.127.116.11. Written Warning 18.104.22.168. Final written warning 22.214.171.124. Dismissal/removal from office 12.5.2. For any form of sexual assault such as rape, attempted rape, molestation or quid pro quo harassment the following shall apply: 126.96.36.199. Summary dismissal for union officials; 188.8.131.52. Removal from office for elected worker leaders; and 184.108.40.206. Expulsion from union activities for elected worker leaders and members. 12.5.3. Repeated harassment after warnings constitutes a dismissible offence. 12.6. Criminal and Civil charges 12.6.1. The right of the complainantto institute criminal and/or civil action against the alleged perpetrator is in no way limited by this policy. 12.7. Victimisation of the complainant 12.7.1. It is a disciplinary offence to victimise, intimidate, attempt to intimidate, retaliate, or in any other manner prejudice an employee who in good faith lodges a grievance of sexual harassment. Any attempt to pressurise or manipulate the complainant to withdraw or change their complaint will also be considered a disciplinary offence. 12.8. Appeals 12.8.1. The CEC must establish a Standing Appeals Committee at National level to deal with appeals from all levels. The Committee should be comprised of affiliates with an independent chairperson, with between 4-6 members. 12.8.2. Should any of the parties be unhappy with the finding and/or sanction of the SHDCthey may appeal to the Standing Appeals Committee. 12.9. Dispute Resolution 12.9.1. Where the complainant or alleged perpetrator is an employee and is not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal, the complainant or alleged perpetrator shall refer the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for arbitration.Should the dispute not be resolved through arbitration, either party has the right to refer the matter to the Labour Court. 12.9.2. In the case of worker leaders (who are not in an employment relationship with COSATU) they would have the unfettered right to approach a court of law. 12.10. Sick Leave 12.10.1. In cases where the complainant has suffered emotional or physical stress, (and is an employee of the Federation) the Federation shall grant additional paid sick leave. In the case where the complainant is a COSATU member then the Affiliate shall negotiate with the relevant employer additional paid leave at the request of COSATU. 13. Sexual Harassment in the workplace and in society 13.1. COSATU and COSATU Affiliates will ensure that no-one is subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace and in society. Where sexual harassment cases are identified outside of the jurisdiction of the Federation, COSATU members, officials and shop stewards will address these cases in line with the legislation of the RSA. They will also strive for their workplaces and any other societal institutions in which they participate to have anti-sexual harassment policies and procedures. 14. Monitoring/ Analysis 14.1. The National Gender Committee together with the COSATU National Office Bearers and the Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissioners shalldevelop approaches to evaluation and monitoring, including regular reports on the extent of reported cases and how they were dealt with; and key indicators with regard to implementation of the policy. 14.2. The Secretariat Reports at National and Provincial level shall contain a section reporting on outcomes of Sexual harassment cases and detailing preventative measures that have been taken during the period under review. 15. Awareness and ongoing education 15.1. COSATU members and officials will ensure that in their unions ongoing education is conducted for office-bearers and membership at all levels. The aim of these awareness and education programmes will be to ensure that all officials (elected and appointed) are educated about sexual harassment and how it contributes to the oppression of women (and to a lesser extent affects men) and to ensure commitment to a COSATU that is free of sexual harassment. COSATU members and officials will ensure that ongoing education is conducted in their workplaces and any other societal institutions in which they participate. 15.2. This policy and procedure must be widely circulated. A popular version of this policy in poster form must be displayed prominently in all public places of COSATU and Affiliates’ offices in order for all members and officials (as well as vendors and service providers) to see it and familiarise themselves with it. Such a poster should also publicise the names and contact details of the relevant Sexual Harassment Prevention Commissioners and the relevant persons to contact in cases of sexual harassment. 15.3. At meetings and gatherings of the Federation, such as Congresses, Central Committees and Conferences, the meeting shall formally adopt procedures for the prevention of sexual harassment in line with this policy and procedure that will be binding on all present. [/su_expand]
Cosatu Gender Policy
[su_expand more_text=”Open” less_text=”Close” more_icon=”icon: briefcase” less_icon=”icon: briefcase”]1. Introduction The issue of gender equality has been on the COSATU agenda since its formation. This Gender Policy document formalises the vision and principles that we aspire towards. In broad terms, progress to realise these resolutions has been uneven and varies between Affiliates. This Policy is intended to create clear guidelines for our work. The first version of this policy was adopted in 2000 and drew together existing COSATU resolutions into a coherent document, while further enriching these resolutions. This update and review of the policy takes into account recent changes and resolutions and was discussed and adopted at the COSATU Congress in November 2015. 1.1. The Vision of the COSATU Gender Policy COSATU and its Affiliates are guided by a commitment to build a society free of sexism, racism, class exploitation, and other forms of oppression. We envisage a future where women and men participate equally and without barriers in the Federation, the economy and society; and where women are emancipated from all forms of oppression in unions, the household, the workplace and in broader society. We have a vision of a trade union movement that is a home for women workers. 1.2. Aims and Objectives of the COSATU Gender Policy The aims and objectives of the Gender Policy are: • To work towards the elimination of patriarchy; and to promote equity and equality between women and men in the Federation, the workplace and in society, by taking up women-focused and gender-based campaigns, and by mainstreaming gender in all our work. • To strive for women’s empowerment in the Federation, by eliminating barriers to participation of women in all aspects of union life, and by challenging male domination and patriarchal ideology in unions. • To campaign for the transformation of South African workplaces to advance gender equality, recognise and respond to the needs of women workers, and parents, and implement family-friendly policies. • To build awareness around the intersectionality of race, class and gender and advance policies and struggles to eliminate the oppression and exploitation of black working class women in particular. • To promote the inclusion, participation, respect and dignity of all union members and workers irrespective of race, gender, class, age, sexual orientation and nationality, amongst others. • To promote the full and active participation of young workers, especially young women workers, in the activities and structures of the Federation, by taking up their needs and interests. • To conscientise and raise awareness amongst men in the Federation and Affiliates to be sensitive to, support and stand up for women’s rights. 1.3. Application of this Policy This policy applies to COSATU, its structures and Affiliates. The Federation and the Affiliates will use it as a mandate to transform the Federation, its affiliated unions and society at large. 1.4. Legislative Framework The policy is informed by and consistent with the following: International • Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 • Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 1995 • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1999 • Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) • Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention,1958 (No. 111) • Domestic Workers’ Convention, 2011 (No. 189) • Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952 (No. 103) Regional • Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, 2003 • SADC Protocol on Gender, 2008 National • The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 • Employment Equity Act, No. 55 of 1998, as amended • Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, No. 4 of 2000 • Basic Conditions of Employment Act, No. 75 of 1997, as amended • Labour Relations Act, No. 66 of 1995, as amended • Protection from Harassment Act, No. 17 of 2011 • COSATU Constitution • COSATU Resolutions 2. Understanding Gender Too often, the concepts of gender and sex are used as if they mean the same thing, while they are quite different. Sex refers to the physical and biological differences between women and men. These are differences that we are born with, which cannot be changed. Gender refers to the different roles, identities and expectations of women and men from society. From a very young age, boys and girls are taught to behave according to gender roles. These gender roles are given different status and power in our society, and this is supported by social institutions like the family, religion, education, the state and economy. The important difference between sex and gender is that gender roles and gender relations are created by our society and can therefore be changed. Gender relations refers to the unequal power relationships between men and women, which are institutionalised in our society, but can be challenged. Patriarchy is the system of male domination over women in society. This takes different forms, including discrimination, disregard, insult, control, exploitation and violence. While gender relations are defined at a particular moment in the history of human kind, we are concerned with gender relations under racist-capitalist-patriarchy. It is important to emphasise the mutually reinforcing relationship between racism, capitalism and patriarchy. Although patriarchy and racism predate capitalism, in the current context the three systems reinforce each other. In the South African context patriarchy and racism cannot be fully addressed without also addressing capitalist relations; and capitalism will not be completely resolved unless we also deal with patriarchy and racism. Against this background, the gender division of labour and patriarchal ideology are the focal issues in combating women’s subordination under capitalism. Under apartheid and colonialism, race and gender oppression and class exploitation were combined in an interconnected system. The racial and gender form of colonial domination masks its underlying economic logic – the exploitation of the black working class. Apartheid capitalism profited from women’s oppression through the large numbers of African women working for lower wages than their male counterparts. Furthermore, women’s unpaid labour in rural areas enabled bosses to pay extremely low wages to migrant workers who lived in bachelor dormitories in complete negation of their parental and family roles. Women’s experience of oppression is affected by their race, class, geographic location, age and other factors. For instance, women with disabilities, especially black working class women with disabilities are marginalised and lack access to support. The levels of unemployment and poverty experienced by young black women are extraordinarily high. Lesbians are discriminated against in the workplace and society purely on the basis of their sexual orientation. Migrant women are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and violence, and are generally not organised into local unions. A ‘gendered perspective’ aims to mainstream and integrate gender struggles, rather than seeing these struggles as women’s issues that are taken up in a separate and isolated way. Nevertheless, we recognise that women are oppressed and that women are the agents of their own liberation who must lead the gender struggle. It is also important to emphasise that the struggle to transform gender relations will benefit both women and men by creating an enabling environment for all to realise their full human potential in different spheres of life. While patriarchy benefits men in various ways it also limits the fullness of their lives. The struggle for gender equality will bring visible benefits to society by eliminating barriers to women’s participation in productive activity, by making social reproduction a social responsibility, and by expanding access to basic needs and services for all. However, this cannot be realised without conscious strategies to redress unequal power relations between men and women in the family, the workplace and in the broader society. 3. Problem Statement The ushering in of a new democratic dispensation and the adoption of a progressive Constitution brought visible changes for the majority of the formerly oppressed. The Constitution and other legislation outlawed discrimination of women and called for measures to redress past imbalances in terms of race, sex and disability and other prohibited grounds of discrimination. South Africa has also ratified a number of international conventions that promote equality between men and women. These legislative measures were meant to transform our society in meaningful ways; however our lived experience under a democratic dispensation has shown that legislation needs to be accompanied by other interventions, in particular a strong State with the political will to redistribute and reallocate resources to address structural inequalities along gender, racial and class lines. In general, access to basic services is still skewed in racial, gender and geographic terms. Women continue to be the face of poverty and the face of HIV and AIDS, especially black working class women. Socio-economic conditions and patriarchal attitudes that justify and perpetuate abuse of women, are driving the staggeringly high rates of domestic violence and rape in South Africa. Women and girls are by far the most at risk and most affected by gender-based violence. Women remain responsible for the bulk of unpaid reproductive labour. This includes all of the work that contributes to reproducing society, such as housework, child bearing and child rearing; which is invisible, not paid and not counted in national statistics. A central aspect of the struggle for gender equality is that reproductive work should become a societal responsibility. The women’s movement and the voice of gender conscious activists have become increasingly weakened during the post-apartheid period. The increasing bureaucratisation and decline of worker control within the labour movement has made it more difficult for gender structures and activists to mobilise themselves. Even more disturbing is the growing backlash against gender equality and a largely unchallenged defence of conservative patriarchal traditions and practices within society. 3.1. State of Gender Relations in the Labour Market Women continue to be discriminated against both in society and in the workplace. The workplace environment is consistently characterised by gender, racial and economic discrimination, with women workers predominating in the most vulnerable and lowest paid occupations. Maternity protection and parental rights remain a serious concern. Women’s position in the labour market is affected by: • Working conditions which are becoming more vulnerable and exploitative for women workers under neo-liberal capitalism. • Women continuing to do the bulk of reproductive and care work, absolving the state and the capitalists of any investment in the reproductive labour that keeps the economy alive. • The unchanged apartheid structure of the South African economy where the majority of black women, in particular young African women, remain outside the formal economy. • Women bearing the brunt of poor infrastructure and services as they have to carry the responsibility of caring for the sick, elderly and children. • Poverty wages, where more than half of all employed workers earn less than the poverty line, and a large proportion of households are female-headed. • Limited access to social security rights, with those in the informal economy, domestic work, and farm work not able to access maternity protection. 3.2. Gender Relations within the Union Movement The union, even where its membership is largely made up of women, still has a male-dominated image and culture, where women are often not taken seriously and there is a lack of sensitivity to women’s organisational needs and experiences. The commitment to gender equality is largely in the form of resolutions rather than action. Further, women are often confronted with resistance at home, experiencing discouragement and abuse from their partners who feel threatened by the fact that their partners are activists. Some of these attitudes are perpetuated by males in the unions. Other issues which affect women’s participation in the union include: • Shop steward and union meetings are held after working hours making it difficult for women to participate. • Union members and leadership (and broader society) have fixed and stereotypical attitudes about women’s roles, this discriminates against women and discourages their participation in unions. • Sexual harassment, where many women who are new recruits become discouraged from union activity, since they are sexually harassed by male comrades and feel that they are not treated as comrades but as sex objects. • Lack of progress to organise the most vulnerable and marginalised sectors dominated by women such as call centres, farm workers and domestic workers. • Collective bargaining demands that are often not gender-sensitive, and do not adequately address issues such as maternity protection, child care, reproductive health and transport. • The lack of women organisers and the lack of gender sensitivity in organising and bargaining strategies. • Insufficient resources for gender structures to implement programmes, reflecting a lack of commitment to gender equality. 4. Policy Statement This Gender Policy moves from the understanding that gender inequality will not disappear on its own accord. There is a need for conscious strategies to eliminate gender inequality within the organisation and broader society. This requires specific measures to promote women’s leadership and participation in the Federation; to create gender-aware unions and policies; and address inequality in the workplace. The empowerment of women workers and the elimination of discrimination and stereotyping are central goals in building gender equality. The measure of gender equality is women’s full and equal participation at all levels of trade union organisation. 4.1. COSATU’s approach to the struggle for gender equality and women’s emancipation At the heart of gender inequality is the unequal power relations between women and men in our society, where men control and dominate women’s lives, and women are in a subordinate position. This system of male domination has a social and economic basis, characterised by racism and capitalist exploitation. We understand that within a patriarchal system, while both women and men are affected by gender roles, it is women that are oppressed, and men that have power and privilege. It is therefore important that our central goal is the emancipation of women. The strategy to achieve this involves simultaneously organising women to come together in solidarity and unity against their oppression, whilst also recognising the importance of male allies, and that gender struggles are union struggles and not women’s struggles alone. However, it remains the task of women to take leadership for their own liberation. Male allies in the gender struggle must guard against acting in ways that reinforce their power and privilege. The concept of gender equality has at times been misused to imply that women and men are equally affected by gender inequality, and to mask women’s oppression. There is also an argument that we should not focus on women. However, the reality is that it is women that are oppressed, and women therefore must continue to be the target of positive measures to address their oppression, until there is fundamental and genuine change. The struggle for gender equality is a struggle for women’s liberation and against women’s oppression, and must challenge the unequal power relationship between women and men in our society, in workplaces, in unions and in households. The struggle for gender equality is simultaneously a struggle for women to empower themselves and lead, and for the integration and mainstreaming of gender struggles within trade unions. 4.2. Promoting Gender Equality in Union Structures and Staffing 4.2.1. Building Women Leadership Even in unions where women constitute the majority of members, men dominate in leadership structures from shop floor to national levels. In addition, unions reproduce the gender division of labour in employment of staff. Most influential positions, such as educators, organisers and provincial/general secretaries are overwhelmingly male-dominated, while the majority of women employed in unions are in administrative positions. Women in elected positions mostly occupy deputising and treasurer positions. Women continue to be discriminated against in leadership, where they are seen as less capable and competent and not given opportunities to lead, whereas the same criteria are not applied to men. Historically, a number of resolutions were adopted by the Federation and Affiliates to systematically remove barriers to women’s participation. While there has been some progress, more action and commitment is required to see real change. We need to campaign for the election of women into leadership positions, while simultaneously challenging and transforming the sexist and male-dominated culture and practices of trade unions. In addition to those identified below, all unions should identify particular barriers to women’s participation in their own structures and contexts. Specific action to increase women’s representation in leadership The following can be used to increase women’s representation: o Additional ex-officio position on constitutional structures o Portfolio positions o Reserved seats for women in decision-making structures of the union o Quota systems including fixed and proportional representation o Representation of sector co-ordinators on constitutional structures o Reserved seats for young women in decision-making structures of the union o Recognition of gender structures as constitutional structures Unions must take positive action to overcome direct and indirect discrimination against women taking up leadership positions in COSATU by o Identifying barriers, examining structures and removing obstacles that prevent women taking leadership roles o Addressing meeting times, providing transport, childcare and/or promoting the sharing of family responsibilities o Ensuring that the provision of childcare at COSATU Congresses and meetings for children up to the age of 14 is implemented in all provinces and nationally o Including women in negotiating committees/teams at all levels and taking up gender dimensions in all items of the bargaining agenda o Challenging stereotypes about women as leaders o Implementing leadership and mentorship programmes o Creating a supportive and encouraging environment o Implementing a Sexual Harassment Policy o Educating all members and leaders on gender o Promoting the sharing of home and family responsibilities between men and women 220.127.116.11. Electing women as shop stewards COSATU and its Affiliates have recognised that electing women as shop stewards is key to building women’s leadership at all levels, since shop stewards constitute the leadership base. The Federation and Affiliates should ensure that conditions under which shop steward elections take place are conducive to electing women (especially young women), and that the election of women is actively encouraged. Specific action to ensure that women are elected as shop stewards: • Union organisers and provincial leadership should be at the forefront in encouraging workers to elect women shop stewards. • Gender co-ordinators must be present at shop steward elections to monitor and support the process. • Where women are not elected as shop stewards, they may be appointed as alternates with a mentoring programme in place, drawing on former/ veteran women trade union leaders for support. • Unions should raise awareness around gender stereotyping as part of their shop steward elections campaigns (and general education programmes). • Unions should be vigilant in preventing employers from undermining women shop stewards. • Unions need to eliminate intimidation and violence in all aspects of trade union work. • Unions should actively discourage and discipline organisers and other leaders or members who sexually harass women shop stewards. • Workplace gender activities and campaign programmes should be developed to empower women and to challenge gender inequality in the workplace. Gender co-ordinators must provide support to workplace gender structures and monitor programmes. 4.2.2. Eliminating the Gender Division of Labour in Trade Unions The nature of work and employment in the Federation and its Affiliates tends to perpetuate stereotypical women’s roles in workplaces. Women are highly concentrated in administration in trade unions, whilst leadership positions remain the preserve of men. Specific action to eliminate the gendered division of labour in trade unions: • COSATU and Affiliates must implement employment equity legislation, including establishing employment equity committees, conducting audits and developing and implementing employment equity plans in full consultation with staff. • Affiliates and the Federation must run workshops for staff and leaders on employment equity and gender equality, focusing on the union as a workplace. • COSATU should establish a human resources commission to oversee monitoring and compliance with employment equity by the Federation and Affiliates. • The principle of equal pay for work of equal value should be applied in the union context. This must be driven by the National Gender Committee (NGC) and the National Office Bearers of COSATU and the Affiliates. • Administrators must be seen as part of the Federation and Affiliates; and their work and contributions need to be valued equally. • Administrators must be drawn into, and be encouraged to participate in the activities of the trade unions and the Federation. • Administrators should be encouraged to attend constitutional meetings. • Administrative staff should have access to political education and capacity building training. 4.2.3. Building Women’s and Gender Structures Women’s and gender structures should be built up as dynamic and supportive forums for gender activism, women’s empowerment and consciousness-raising. There is still a need to create space for women to strategise in separate forums (in addition to existing gender structures). This forms an important part of women’s empowerment and unity. At the same time, gender equality is the responsibility of the trade union as a whole, not just the gender or women’s structure. Thus, gender activists need to simultaneously promote separate organising of women and integration of gender struggles within trade union structures. Both are necessary and important. Separate organising is vital to facilitate awareness raising, solidarity and gender consciousness amongst women workers. It also amplifies the voice of women and works against the marginalisation of gender issues in trade unions. Furthermore, it is an important tool to organise women into trade unions and to build and transform trade unions. Integration of gender issues in constitutional structures helps to build wider support and ensure that gender issues become trade union issues, and are not ghettoised. All departments within the Federation and Affiliates must integrate gender considerations in their work and the gender structures must monitor the extent to which this is taking place. Specific action to support building of women and gender structures: • Affiliates must establish gender structures at all levels, inclusive of the workplace. • Each affiliate must strive to appoint a full time national gender co-ordinator to actively drive gender programmes in the unions. • Gender structures, gender co-ordinators and gender office bearers should be represented in all constitutional structures. The NGC will take overall responsibility to ensure that this actually happens. • Gender departments and structures should be accorded the same status as other departments/structures. • There must be a separate and adequate budget allocation specifically for gender activities and gender structures and/or departments. • The NGC should develop a clear programme with guidelines, time frames and a budget allocation which will be implemented by Affiliates and provinces. • There should be a focused and co-ordinated campaign around gender issues that relate to the workplace and collective bargaining and can be integrated in education and other union activities (for example, on child care facilities or sexual harassment). 4.2.4. Education and Empowerment Education and Empowerment of women is an important component in the struggle for gender equality. But when promoted in isolation, without clear strategies to transform male domination and hierarchy in trade unions, there is a danger of creating the mistaken impression that women’s capacity is the problem, whereas the central problem is sexism and the undermining of women’s capacity in unions. This is not to suggest that women have not been disadvantaged with regard to access to union education, however, this should not be used as a basis for their further exclusion from leadership. It is not adequate to train and elect women as leaders within unchanged, male-dominated trade union structures and organisational practices – these must be transformed. Empowerment of women refers to the process where women become aware of the nature of women’s oppression, and are supported to take their place in the struggle for women’s emancipation and gender equality, in solidarity and collective action with other women. Whilst there is a need for specific education and empowerment for women union members; training on gender awareness and challenging stereotypes should be provided for all union members. Gender education and training programmes run by COSATU and Affiliates should be carefully monitored and evaluated to assess their impact and link to clear programmes of action. Gender education programmes of COSATU and Affiliates must be located within a clear political framework and ideology, namely: anti-capitalist and socialist. Specific action to ensure education and empowerment: • Gender education programmes must be adequately financed and resourced to be effective. • COSATU should ensure that local and shop steward levels are also targeted. • Both women and men union members should receive training on understanding gender. • Education run by COSATU and Affiliates should focus on the following issues: o Supporting and deepening a gender agenda for the workplace and collective bargaining. o Supporting a programme of affirmative action for the workplace and unions. o Deepening the understanding of women’s oppression in society, and the struggle to challenge this, with a view to building a broader women’s movement. o Drawing upon women’s struggles against oppression internationally. o Encouraging debate and analysis on the barriers and obstacles women face in the labour movement and how these may be overcome. o Popularising COSATU gender policies, including the sexual harassment policy. • COSATU and Affiliates must implement a proportional quota system for education programmes to ensure that increasing numbers of women have access to mainstream union education and political education, in addition to gender education. 4.2.5. Sexual Harassment Gender-based violence, including sexual harassment is a manifestation of unequal power relations between women and men and serves to perpetuate inequalities. Gender-based violence impacts women’s lives harshly, and it can take place at home, in the workplace or in public spaces. Sexual harassment is a violation of human rights, a form of discrimination, and a health and safety issue. Where it occurs, it should be seriously addressed and the victims protected. Women are primarily the victims of sexual harassment. They are often unaware of their rights and afraid of retaliation or of losing their jobs. Therefore, important elements in the fight against sexual harassment include awareness-raising, a principled and uncompromising stance on dealing with cases of sexual harassment, and protection for complainants against retaliation. The COSATU Policy advances a three-pronged approach to sexual harassment, which includes a procedure for the handling of cases of sexual harassment, alongside policy proposals for the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment within COSATU and Affiliates. Specific action to address and eliminate sexual harassment: • The COSATU Policy and Procedure for the Handling, Prevention and Elimination of Sexual Harassment must be popularised and implemented throughout the Federation. This includes education and awareness raising, training of sexual harassment officers and the implementation of clear and proper procedures. • The Policy and Procedure for the Handling, Prevention and Elimination of Sexual Harassment commits COSATU and Affiliates to: o A complaints procedure that will enable and encourage the victim to raise the issue of harassment in a supportive and confidential context, with protection from retaliation; o Handle all information concerning harassment related grievances in such manner that protects the privacy of all concerned; o Deal with cases of sexual harassment rapidly and thoroughly through a clear disciplinary procedure; and o Run information and education campaigns for all members and staff on the various forms of sexual harassment and the fact that it will not be tolerated. • Unions should ensure that shop stewards and organisers are trained, informed and able to support members in taking up cases of sexual harassment. • Unions should place sexual harassment on the collective bargaining agenda and negotiate agreements. The NEDLAC Code provides the space and framework to negotiate agreements in the workplace. • A strategy and campaign should be developed to raise awareness on the legislated Code of Good Practice on Sexual Harassment in workplaces. 4.2.6. Building the National Women’s Movement Women’s organisations politicise and organise women around the core issues facing women in the community. There is increasing fragmentation of women’s organisations and activism, despite the tremendous poverty and abuse faced by women in our country. Building the women’s movement requires the building of issue-based and campaign-linked networks of women in political organisations, trade unions, NGOs and other civil society formations. COSATU should be in the forefront in ensuring a working class-led national women’s movement. Specific action to build the women’s movement: • Partner with women’s organisations to fight for the rights of women and collaborate in public action on issues of common concern. Potential campaigns include: ending violence against women, basic needs and infrastructure, eradication of poverty, parental rights and employment creation for women. • COSATU, with other organisations and allies, must explore concrete ways in which the struggle for socialism can be part of the campaign of building a working class-led national women’s movement. • Implement events-based alliances: Unions must continue to co-operate closely with other local groups to jointly organise specific events, such as celebrations for Women’s Day, Worker’s Day and other specific events. Such events can help to widen union partnerships and strengthen the work of the women’s movement. • Work with women’s organisations and community organisations to promote local economic development. Trade unions can make an important contribution by helping to determine and push for the kinds of jobs a community wishes to attract. This includes employers that pay a living wage, promote gender equality and have anti-discrimination policies, and secure jobs with effective life-long training. • Unions can join with like-minded organisations to use the courts to implement, overturn or clarify the meaning of specific legislation, force public officials to undertake or prevent certain acts, or seek new or better precedents to improve the position of women at the workplace or in society. 4.3. Gender Equality in the Labour Market The triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality continue to define South African society, more than two decades into our democracy. The labour market continues to be characterised by a gender division of labour, where women tend to predominate in clerical, support and care work, as opposed to manufacturing, technical and managerial occupations. In addition to job segregation, substantial gender pay gaps still exist, both because of gender discrimination in pay and because women are concentrated in low paid, insecure jobs. The racial wage gap is particularly stark in South Africa, and in addition, black women consistently earn less than black men. Black women workers experience exploitation as workers combined with racial and gender oppression. Thus, women’s oppression is made more severe by experiences of race, class, age, sexual orientation and nationality, amongst others. • Whilst women‘s access to employment is improving; working conditions have become more unbearable for women workers. • Increasingly, women’s work is found in precarious, unprotected sectors such as casual, temporary, contract and labour-brokered work, where they do not enjoy any employment benefits. • Large numbers of women still continue to provide the bulk of reproductive and care work, while capital profits from the unpaid work that keeps the economy alive. • The apartheid structure of the South African economy has remained unchanged and has created conditions where the bulk of black women, in particular young African women, remain outside of paid employment. 4.3.1. Decent Work Decent work is an important component of gender equality at work. However, we need to ensure that the concept of decent work is applied in a gender-sensitive manner. The concept of decent work is progressive to the extent that it refers more inclusively to work rather than narrowly to employment. This therefore includes all productive and reproductive activities, in the formal and informal economies and households, and not only paid employment . The lack of decent work arises as a result of the nature of capital accumulation in an era of globalisation where companies compete and increase their profits by lowering wage costs and working conditions, outsourcing work and bypassing labour standards. The ILO has identified four broad components to decent work, these include : • Promotion of employment and income opportunities • Promotion of fundamental rights and conditions at work • Expansion and improvement of social protection coverage • The promotion of representation, collective bargaining and social dialogue Specific action to ensure decent work for women: • Campaign and take up workplace struggles to ensure that workers, including women, have the right to: o Stable and secure employment opportunities o A living wage/social wage with comprehensive social security systems and access to basic services o Access to training o Decent working hours o Work, family and life balance o Equal opportunities o Health and Safety o Collective bargaining and engagement in tripartite forums to protect and improve working conditions • Special attention to be paid to women workers that are in vulnerable and unsafe work which is not always protected by law, and where enforcement is weak. These include domestic workers, farm workers, informal sector workers, casual workers and migrant workers. 4.3.2. The Campaign for a National Minimum Wage and Social Wage The national minimum wage campaign is part of advancing gender equality, given that women are amongst the lowest earners in the economy. The struggle for a minimum wage should be augmented with the struggle for a social wage, and linked with struggles for access to water, electricity, land, food, comprehensive social security, and decent work. Women have limited access to social security rights, and those in the informal economy, domestic work, and farm work are not protected at all when they fall pregnant or lose their income. Specific action to ensure a national minimum wage: • Federation and Affiliates to campaign and raise awareness about the need for a national minimum wage. • Ensure full participation and representation of women workers in the campaign, including in the determination and implementation of a national minimum wage. • Ensure that the campaign is informed by a gender perspective and that gender issues are taken into account, for example the demand for equal pay for equal work and equal pay for work of equal value (see section 4.3.5 of this policy). • Create a platform of engagement for a minimum programme across Federations and the Alliance, with clear gender demands and women’s representation. • Link the national minimum wage campaign to the campaign for food security and the campaign for a social wage. 4.3.3. Parental Rights, Maternity Protection and Childcare COSATU and Affiliates should negotiate and establish parental rights in all sectors of the economy. The issue of parental rights must also be integrated into the social wage as a means of ensuring that the social reproduction of labour begins to be taken on board by both the state and the bourgeoisie. Parental rights must entail a full package of provisions, and should not be reduced to only negotiating some maternity and paternity leave. Nevertheless, we continue to emphasise the importance of a basic floor of maternity protection rights and benefits. Although pregnancy and maternity are biologically unique to women, reproduction itself is a social function which should be protected for both women and men. Pregnancy and maternity should not restrict women from their right to work and cannot be used as grounds to discriminate against them. We recognise that there are various forms of family structure, and that the rights of all adults playing parenting/guardian roles should be protected. We also acknowledge that the primary responsibility for parenting continues to be upheld by women, and that this should be taken into account in policy development by the state. At the same time we should work towards ensuring that fathers play a more meaningful role in their children’s lives. The aim of the parental rights campaign is to enable women and men in waged work to combine paid employment with a full family life, while infants are given all the care and attention required. The benefits of such a campaign are that it will deliver concrete gains for working mothers and fathers; it will play an important role in challenging and addressing women’s oppression; it will contribute towards the proper care and early childhood development of infants and children; and it will enable women to be more active as unionists. Such a campaign should be linked to broader issues of access to social services and benefits such as the child maintenance grant, and to employment equity. The objectives of the campaign include highlighting the responsibility of both employers and the state in the provision of parental rights and childcare. This means that unions must take forward a combined approach of pushing for improved legislation and state provisions; in addition to collective bargaining and workers struggles for the provision of parental rights and benefits. Specific action for the protection of parental rights and childcare: • The following are the elements of a comprehensive parental rights package: o Non-discrimination o Job Security o Parental leave (maternal and paternal) o Cash benefits o Social security o Right to return to work o Ante-natal and post-natal care o Breastfeeding provisions o Childcare o Health and safety o Career breaks o Adoption o Stillbirths, miscarriages and abortions • COSATU Affiliates must campaign and bargain for the following demands: o Paid maternity leave o Paid and unpaid parental leave o Childcare leave o Flexible working time o Provision of childcare facilities o Breaks and facilities for breastfeeding mothers o Job security and health and safety for pregnant women • Adequate support will be given to negotiators and organisers in conducting this campaign. This includes education programmes, research backup and a parental rights negotiators manual. • The public campaign should be conducted at a political and ideological level, with an emphasis on the role of the state and employers, and the recognition of the right of all parents to participate fully in family life, and acknowledging the importance of fathers in the lives of children. • Demand fully paid maternity leave for a minimum of six (6) months, with a view to progressively increasing this and additional paid leave made available for ante and post-natal care for both parents. • Maternity protection and benefits should be made available to all categories of workers with no exclusions. • Maternity benefits should be paid from a stand-alone maternity fund, embedded within the UIF mechanism, to which the state contributes. Employers’ contribution to the UIF mechanism should increase to 2%. Maternity leave should be paid out to all workers from this fund, at 100% of earnings. • The state should establish a separate social assistance fund for unemployed pregnant women and teenage mothers. This also includes vulnerable workers; with no exclusions. • Ensure the recognition of the need for childcare leave for all parents and guardians (irrespective of family status, and in addition to current family responsibility leave) starting with a minimum amount of paid childcare leave of 10 days per year, up to the age of four (4) years. • There is a need for a minimum of 10 days paternity leave for fathers, with a view towards extending this to two months. • Campaign for male workers to be given paid leave to support pregnant partners’ attending ante natal care. • Continue to campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 183. • COSATU to work with a broad range of progressive women’s organisations, LSOs and NGOs, and alliance partners to mobilise support for parental rights demands, and also engage statutory organs (such as the Law Reform Commission, the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency, the Women’s Multi Party Caucus and the Commission for Gender Equality) to ensure the maternity protection and benefits are achieved. 4.3.4. Organising Women Workers There are significant gender differences in vulnerable sectors. Women tend to occupy the most vulnerable, lowest status and lowest paid occupations. While some vulnerable workers may have their own associations, many remain unorganised and are therefore unable to defend their rights. COSATU has committed itself to the strategic objective of organising vulnerable sectors and vulnerable layers of workers, which are predominantly women. This requires a shift in mind-set, organising style and approach, and has implications for changing the organisational culture of the Federation. Due to retrenchments in the formal economy and high unemployment levels, the informal economy becomes the last resort as a survival strategy for the jobless and the poor. Informal economy work cannot be described as “decent” work, as it is not secure and protected, nor is it even recognised as work. The decent work deficits suffered by the workers in the informal economy – women and men – include the following: • They are not covered and are, therefore, unprotected by labour and other laws. • Their work tends to be unstable and also with low income and poor working conditions. • They are hardly able to organise for effective representation and, therefore, have no “voice.” • They are unable to benefit from public infrastructure and facilities and often have to rely on informal, exploitative arrangements for infrastructure and credit. • They often lack shelter for their operations and are subjected to occupational health and safety hazards. • Without established employee – employer relations as found in the formal economy, informal economy workers have tended to be ignored by national labour laws. • They are vulnerable to abuse and violence. Specific action to organise vulnerable women workers: • Develop new organising strategies to employ more women as organisers and to train existing organisers, taking account of the specific conditions of women workers and their particular needs and challenges. • Use a community-based approach in conjunction with other proven ‘shop-floor’ organising methods. With many types of atypical workers, their uncertain hours of work and their dispersed workplaces mean that the main point of access to them may be at the community level. • Ensure that the places and times of activities to reach out to these women workers suit their heavy and uncertain work schedules. • Implement comprehensive education programmes with the aim of developing leadership capacity among women workers. The approach should include covering standard union issues such as collective bargaining and also other issues addressing the specific needs of vulnerable workers. • Conduct union campaigns directed at government to reform labour legislation or extend the scope of coverage to workers outside the traditional formal economy. The union movement can play an important role in advocacy and lobbying of government on this issue. • Assess whether there is a need to change/adapt internal structures, including creating special departments or units and having special budget allocations to help organise women workers. • Take forward the struggle against labour broking, whilst simultaneously organising labour broker workers (including women) into unions. • Build coalitions with existing informal economy organisations which share the basic principles and objectives of the trade union movement. These groups can provide opportunities for organisational partnerships or integration with existing trade union structures. 4.3.5. Equal Pay for Equal Work and Work of Equal Value The principle of equal pay for work of equal value addresses discriminatory structural gender biases in labour markets which lead to horizontal and vertical job segregation by sex. Work done by women and black people has historically been undervalued and underpaid. It means that rates and types of pay should be based not on an employee’s sex (or other personal attributes) but on an objective evaluation of the work performed. This is a fundamental workers’ right. On average worldwide, women’s income per hour worked is about 75 per cent of men’s. Because pay structures and job classification systems are biased, the jobs done by most women tend to be classified at lower levels. Progress has been made with the recognition of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in Employment Equity legislation through the code of good practice on Equal Pay/Remuneration for Work of Equal Value, which was issued in 2015, in terms of the prohibition of unfair discrimination in s 6(4) of the Employment Equity Act. Women are highly concentrated in “flexible” work such as part-time, informal or temporary work, which is usually poorly paid. Discrimination also operates in access to promotion which affects pay and benefits. Application of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value may be applied by means of: • national laws or regulations; • legally established or recognised mechanisms for wage determination; • collective agreements between employees’ and workers; or • a combination of these. Specific action to address pay discrimination based on gender: • COSATU and Affiliates, together with the NGC should continue to press for more progress in securing equal pay for work of equal value. • Emphasis should be placed on the following: o Skills acquired by women on the job and within the family must be more highly valued and reflected in remuneration. o Education for organisers and shop stewards on the legislation on equal pay for equal work and work of equal value. o Incorporating equal pay principle in collective bargaining for all full-time workers and for part-time workers (proportional to their employment). o All casual workers, whatever their employment contract, to be covered by collective bargaining so that the above principle is respected. o Upgrading of low wages and salary categories where women traditionally work. o Eliminating barriers that prohibit women from entering jobs traditionally held by men. o Deepening the understanding of this issue amongst membership and leadership. o Developing specific campaigns to promote equal pay and including this in the Decent Work campaign. 4.3.6. Employment Equity Agreements The South African labour market remains racialised and gendered despite Employment Equity legislation. The workplace remains largely unchanged with only a few women having benefited from Employment Equity. We need to speed up the process and ensure that black women, and African women in particular are recognised and affirmed. The Commission for Employment Equity has noted that black women remain confined to lower occupational levels, and that even within the category of people with disabilities, men are more advantaged than women with disabilities. Employment Equity legislation can contribute to addressing discrimination and transforming occupational segregation in the workplace if it is effectively implemented. The gender dimension to employment equity needs to be integrated in the approach of unions and the promotion of black women should be emphasised. Furthermore, trade unions ought to make better use of the provisions for the elimination of barriers to women’s employment to push for advances for women workers. Specific action ensure the implementation of the Employment Equity Act: Ensure that workplaces, the Federation and Affiliates develop and implement employment equity plans, with specific reference to women in the following key areas: o Remuneration and promotion o Job segregation o Equal pay for equal work and work of equal value o Sexual harassment o Parental rights, maternity protection and childcare facilities o All forms of violence against women (in the home, the workplace and the state) o Elimination of discrimination on all levels o Advancement and promotion of women in management and traditionally male-dominated occupations 4.3.7. Health and Safety Historically, occupational safety and health concerns have focused on male dominated occupations. Women’s work was assumed to be safe because the more obvious dangers inherent in many male occupations do not exist. However, women are also exposed to serious health and safety hazards in the workplace. The important point however is that women and men are exposed to different risks and hazards at work. This is because of gender segmentation which means that women and men do different types of work (with different risks). Also, the same risks may impact women and men differently because of biological differences, and different reproductive roles and social roles. Both women and men face a range of hazards that can affect their reproductive health. There are also various hazards in the workplace for pregnant women, including heavy lifting and sitting or standing for long periods of time. A further dimension is that women are concentrated in jobs which are generally unskilled, low paid and lead to health problems. Women are also more likely than men to work in smaller establishments where occupational safety and health standards are often poor. Shift work, sexual harassment, lack of adequate facilities, hazards during pregnancy, psychosocial stresses and long working hours all have an impact on women’s health and safety. Women are at particular risk of physical and psychological violence both in the workplace and outside . Women are concentrated in occupations which have a higher risk of violence, such as working with the public and in solitary settings, for example, teaching, nursing, banking and retail. Women are particularly vulnerable to be exposed to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Specific action ensure effective health and safety standards: • COSATU and Affiliates must set up a programme of research and support to affiliates on health and safety hazards, with special attention to the particular challenges faced by women workers, recognising that women and men experience different hazards and impacts. • Affiliates to actively fight in the workplace to eradicate health and safety hazards. • Affiliates must set up active health and safety committees in the workplace to negotiate health and safety agreements. Women must be part of these committees. • Affiliates to fight for unsafe substances to be banned and replaced with safe substances. • Ensure that women have access to toilets, rest rooms, canteens and nutritious meals. • Those whose work requirements place them in isolated spaces should be provided with the appropriate security. • Where women must do shift work, ensure that these conditions are in place: o Safe transport o Reduction of shift work hours o Proper facilities during night shift, for example, canteens and first aid o No shift work for pregnant women – they must be transferred to jobs that do not jeopardise their health or that of their unborn child. 4.3.8. Participation of Women in Collective Bargaining The participation of women in collective bargaining is essential to address women’s needs; and mainstream gender equality considerations. This will help to ensure that women’s concerns are recognised as union issues; that gender equality provisions benefit both men and women; it will help to change attitudes towards women in employment; and ensure that inadequate legislative measures are addressed in order to properly protect the rights of women in the workplace. Specific action to ensure the participation of women in collective bargaining: • Representation and participation of women in bargaining teams. • Development of the role of gender co-ordinators and gender structures in collective bargaining. • Development of a strategy to facilitate the involvement of women workers at workplace level in collecting collective bargaining demands. • Providing training for women and men on collective bargaining and a gendered approach to collective bargaining (research and information management; formulating collective bargaining demands; reporting and canvassing membership collective bargaining demands). • Ensuring that gender equality is addressed in the preparation for negotiations. This includes informing women workers about their rights; running gender awareness campaigns; collecting data on gender trends and sharing information on bargaining in advance. • Prioritising gender demands as part of collective bargaining agenda, and making certain that workers are mobilised around these demands and that they are effectively negotiated • Ensuring that the mechanisms are put in place for monitoring implementation of agreements including gender equality clauses. 4.3.9. Fighting Discrimination on the Basis Sexual Orientation The Constitution, the Employment Equity Act and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act prohibit unfair discrimination on several grounds including on sexual orientation. In spite of this, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) workers face discrimination in law and in fact. COSATU is committed to fight against all forms of oppression. Homophobia contributes to very narrow and rigid gender stereotypes which affect the lives of all women and men, girls and boys. COSATU must add its weight and voice to combat unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In addition, the environment within the organisation should be made conducive for the participation of gay and lesbian as well as transgendered and intersex workers. It is not uncommon to still find workplaces today where people are dismissed simply on the basis that they are gay or lesbian. We also find environments where gay and lesbian people are harassed and victimised, both by fellow employees and by their employers. It is difficult for an individual employee to use the law on their own to fight against management. Trade unions can assist employees, by using the law, and their collective strength. Specific action to fight discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation: The Federation will fight homophobia in a number of ways, including: • Being alert and sensitive to the numerous difficulties faced by LGBTI union members and workers. • Encouraging and promoting LGBTI participation in union structures. • Education, awareness raising and sensitisation of union members and leaders to confront and eliminate discrimination against LGBTI in unions, in the workplace and in society. • Negotiating collective agreement provisions that ensure that all workers have the same rights and receive the same benefits and that sexual orientation is made visible in all anti-discrimination clauses. • Engaging in public campaigns and legal and political action to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. 4.2.9 Protection of Women’s Reproductive Health Rights Reproductive health implies that people are able to have responsible, satisfying and safer sex lives; and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. This means that men and women should be informed of and have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of birth control; have access to appropriate health care services of sexual, reproductive medicine; and have access to health education programs to support healthy and safe pregnancies and childbirth. However, there are inequalities in reproductive health services based on socioeconomic status, education level, age, ethnicity, religion, and resources available in their environment. For example, working class people lack the resources for appropriate health services and lack access to knowledge about maintaining reproductive health. Specific action to protect the reproductive health rights of women: • All workplaces must provide reproductive health facilities and/or information so that young women workers are able to access assistance to help them to be both health-conscious and to be able to plan their families healthily. • Collective bargaining demands and the campaign for Decent Work should address reproductive health issues. • Cervical cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer: o Government must continue to provide information on cervical cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer (amongst others) at clinics. o Free pap smears must be given at clinics. o Women should be given sufficient time off to get pap smears and mammograms. • Contraception: o Dangerous contraceptives must be banned and replaced with safe options. o Women must be given proper medical examinations before contraception is prescribed. o Men must share the burden of using contraception. o Proper sex education must be provided in schools and contraception must be freely available. o Health services such as primary health care clinics should not discriminate against LGBTI and young women who try to access contraceptives. Female condoms and dental dams must be made available. • Termination of pregnancy: o COSATU will work with partners and progressive women’s organisations to ensure the right to safe, free and legal termination of pregnancy is realised. 4.3.10. Gender Equality in the Broader Society Fighting gender inequality within the workplace must be linked to fighting inequality in the broader society. Gender inequalities in households and society reinforce gender inequality within the labour market. For instance, unequal access to education reinforces labour market inequality in terms of skill. Access to basic services such as transport, health care, childcare, and water are critical both for quality of life and ability to participate in productive work. For this reason it is important to ensure that economic and social policies are gender sensitive and gender biased. Campaigns for a social wage and social security, including a basic income grant, free basic services, national health insurance and free education, amongst others, are important in this regard. COSATU must continue to participate in various campaigns and partnerships to address inequality in the broader society, and ensure that these campaigns are informed by a gender perspective. Specific action to support gender equality in the broader society: • Child Abuse o COSATU structures at all levels must continue to campaign for the abolition of child labour and secure working and living conditions for parents that make it unnecessary for children to work. o COSATU together with progressive organisations should campaign for the rights of destitute and abused children. • Violence against Women o COSATU to conduct a programme of education on violence against women (including rape and domestic violence) and its effects on women and their families. o COSATU must continue to campaign for courts and law enforcement to take violence against women seriously. o Campaign against all forms of assault and sexual abuse, particularly amongst members, and to discipline offenders through the structures of COSATU, ensuring at the same time that consciousness is raised. o COSATU to explore the provision of defence training for women. • Housing o COSATU should join community campaigns for better housing and lower rent, including security of tenure. o Demand housing subsidies for all workers. o Demand an end to single sex hostels and the provision of appropriate housing for workers. • Transport o Demand a reliable, affordable, accessible and safe public transport system and scrapping of E-tolls. • Women in the Family o Campaign for equal participation by both partners in parenting and family responsibilities. o Campaign for housework to be shared by all in the household. o Raise awareness amongst trade union members on equalising the relationship between men and women in COSATU and the society at large. • HIV/AIDS o Continue to implement education and information campaigns amongst members, with the support of progressive organisations, and with a particular focus on empowerment of women in the context of unequal power in relationships between women and men. o Continue to ensure the protection of the rights of workers living with HIV in the workplace. o Challenge government to ensure that treatment is always available at health facilities for people living with HIV, especially in poor and rural communities. • Youth Unemployment o Seek to support employment creation for youth, especially young women. 5. Implementation Framework In developing strategies and institutional mechanisms for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the gender policy in COSATU and Affiliates, our starting point is that gender equality is a trade union issue. COSATU’s strategies for implementation are informed by the overall goal and vision to promote women’s empowerment and achieve gender equality. To do so, the Federation must empower the gender and women’s structures and the gender co-ordinators with sufficient financial resources and political support to champion focused gender struggles. At the same time, the Federation must ensure that there is gender mainstreaming throughout the constitutional structures and departments. Gender mainstreaming means taking into account gender concerns and differences when planning, implementing and monitoring policies; allocating adequate resources to redress gender imbalances; and active participation of women and men in decision-making at all levels. During the Planning Phase the Federation will: • Prepare a Gender Action Plan for the Federation utilising a gender analysis. • Ensure that the Gender Policy and Gender Action Plan are allocated adequate human and financial resources. This includes setting aside a specific budget for the gender issues in the Secretariat and asking departments and affiliates to allocate resources as well. • Develop common gender indicators for all Affiliates and partners to use for planning and monitoring. • Build capacity in gender analysis using gender tools (diagnostic, planning, monitoring, evaluation, audit), run gender awareness training, and create a tool kit for trade unionists. • Ensure that the plan involves women and men at all stages, including the planning and implementation phases of any intervention and in establishing, monitoring and evaluation indicators. During the Implementation Phase the Federation will: • Implement the Gender Action Plan across the Federation through the Federation’s gender mainstreaming work, and through focused gender campaigns and activities led by the gender structures. • Ensure specific or targeted action for women is undertaken, in addition to gender mainstreaming to advance women’s position and achieve gender equality within the unions. • Enhance women’s participation in the different decision-making organs, levels and collective bargaining teams to be equal to that of men. • Ensure that the Policy and implementation plan enjoys the support of union leadership and has political will and support behind it. • Ensure that the COSATU Secretariat and Affiliates make the effort to integrate a gender perspective into their activities. • Develop approaches to address strategic as well as practical gender needs to begin to shift the power balance and change gender relations in favour of women’s empowerment. • Conduct gender awareness training. • Ensure that all trade union literature and educational material are gender-sensitive. • Carry out research into the working conditions of women, to help unions respond more effectively to women workers’ needs. Research should be disseminated to Affiliates and COSATU structures to ensure a wider understanding of the gender and decent work agenda. • Design and implement capacity building programmes in gender for Affiliates, staff and stakeholders. During the Monitoring and Evaluation Phase the Federation will: • Ensure that all Affiliates and COSATU structures conduct gender audits/assessments and monitor their work using gender indicators and tools. • Make clear efforts to produce gender-disaggregated data for monitoring and future planning. • Establish a gender documentation centre in the Federation. • Produce regular progress reports for the National Gender Committee, CEC, National Gender Conference and COSATU Congress. It is important to clearly delineate responsibility between all constitutional structures and the gender structures. 5.1. Institutional Mechanisms Institutional mechanisms refer to the structures that are responsible directly or indirectly for the development and implementation of a plan of action that would lead to the promotion and attainment of gender equality. 5.1.1. COSATU Constitutional Structures and National Office Bearers The structures that are responsible overall for the implementation and monitoring of the Gender Policy are the constitutional structures of COSATU, from National to local level. The constitutional structures have the responsibility to delegate, allocate resources and report to membership. The role of the COSATU Congress is to adopt gender policies and resolutions and monitor implementation. The role of the Central Executive Committee and National Office Bearers Committee is to ensure implementation of the Gender Policy and programme, and to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in all activities of the Federation, including meetings. [/su_expand]