What do trade unions need to look out for, deliberate and demand?The AfCFTA agreement in its current form refers to the promotion and attainment of gender equality. But more action is needed to achieve equity, equality, non-discrimination and women empowerment. To advocate for the needs of women, trade unions should consider the following demands:
- Gender should not be a stand-alone issue in the AfCFTA or any national or continental policy or development procedure. Gender objectives can only be met when gender is mainstreamed through all processes and procedures.
- Demand national initiatives such as gender-sensitive education, women-training programmes, financial support for women entrepreneurship and the implementation of tax reductions for women-owned companies.
- Acknowledge the majority role of women in Africa’s informal sector and their associated vulnerability.
- Conduct gender analysis of the impacts of the AfCFTA and include specific proposals that address the possible negative effects on women within advocacy campaigns.
- The anticipated increase in female employment through the AfCFTA should produce decent jobs with adequate protection and health and safety measures.