This year marks the 12th World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) on 7 October. Millions of people have taken part in WDDW events since 2008, and this year again it is a day for mobilisation all over the world: one day when all the trade unions in the world stand up for decent work. Decent work must be at the centre of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people first. No action is too big or too small for the World Day for Decent Work: whether be it a round table discussion, a huge demonstration, a protest letter, a flash mob action or something completely different.
Unions and their allies will decide on their WDDW activities according to the situation in their countries, their sectors and their workplaces. It is a day to highlight significant wins for working people, and to give public profile to union campaigns and actions for justice and solidarity. As in the past, there is an international theme - this year it is to reinforce the call for investment in care, which is fundamental to achieving gender equality at work and in society. It would help improve pay and working conditions in the sector and provide vital economic stimulus at a time when the global economy is sluggish and working families are feeling the pinch.
"Investing in care for gender equality"
Work in the care sector remains significantly undervalued and characterised by poor pay and working conditions. A majority of workers in the care sector are women.
More than three-quarters of unpaid care work is done by women.
This is equivalent to 13% of global GDP, or $10 trillion per year.
In industrialised countries, an investment of 2% of GDP in care brings a positive return, of between 2.4% and 6.1%.
In six emerging economies, an investment of 2% of GDP in care would create over 42 million jobs
"Greater investment in care is vital and urgent for every country, whether to ensure dignity and health for ageing populations, or the best start in life for children in countries where the young dominate population statistics. Low
investment in care, with the expectation that women must bear the cost of care unpaid, is a huge barrier to increasing women’s workforce participation, to tackling the gender pay gap and to achieving equality between women and
men at work and in society. And with millions of people suffering from illness or accidents caused by their work, it is an issue for all working people and their unions. The investment needs to guarantee decent jobs for care workers,
with full respect for their rights at work, and they need the protections that organising in unions provides."
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC