EI President takes floor at the United Nations: Social dialogue and climate education for a just transition

published 24 March 2022 updated 8 April 2022

On March 22nd, Education International President Susan Hopgood addressed the 66th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Speaking on behalf of Education International and the global trade union delegation to the CSW, EI’s President highlighted the critical role of social dialogue and climate education for a women and worker led just transition to a green economy.

The video and transcript of Ms Hopgood’s intervention are available below. The full CSW session is available here, with interpretation into French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.

Statement by Education International President Susan Hopgood to the 66th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Distinguished delegates,

As President of Education International, I am honoured to represent the global trade union delegation, representing 80 million women workers. The CSW is particularly important to Education International, the global union federation of over 32 million teachers and education support personnel, a profession largely held by women.

No matter where you are joining from, the climate emergency is on your doorstep. However, the people most affected are women, living in poverty, many from marginalized groups and working in the informal economy or precarious jobs.

Today, we call on Member States to engage in social dialogue with workers and their trade unions to adopt gender-responsive Just Transition plans to preserve our planet and adequately address inequities in the world of work.

The plans must prioritize and integrate quality climate change education into curricula as a compulsory subject at all levels of education. Students - especially girls in all their diversity - have a right to an education that will equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to live and work in a green economy.

For this green economy to function, Just Transition plans must create rights-based, climate friendly jobs, especially for young women in STEM sectors. Sustainable industrial policies to create decent work with minimum living wages, underpinned by international labour rights, must be implemented. These include the right to association and the right to collective bargaining enshrined in ILO Conventions 87 and 98, the right to work free from violence and harassment in Convention C190 and Recommendation 206, and the right to equal pay for work of equal value in Convention 100. We call for the adoption, ratification and implementation of all gender-specific ILO Conventions.

Placing women at the centre of a just transition means an investment in low-carbon transport, an end to occupational segregation, job formalisation, developing a rights-based sustainable food system and redistributing unpaid care responsibilities.

Women and worker led Just Transition plans are fundamental for building societies equipped to respond to the climate emergency, and to meet the targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Thank you.