The 8th National Women Workers’ Conference was held in Kathmandu by the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT). The conference, which drew over 200 women and men representatives from all over the country, elected a 17-member GEFONT Central Women’s Committee under the chairmanship of Sita Lama.
Bishnu Rimal, GEFONT Patron, and CPN-UML Deputy General Secretary addressed as the conference’s chief guest and stated that GEFONT’s campaign to promote women’s participation in the trade union movement has pulled off great achievement.
He said that the slogan of the eighth women’s conference, “our participation, our representation, let’s remember, understand, and move forward” is very relevant, and the goal was set to increase women’s membership by 5% at each general convention as there was zero representation of women in the leadership when the women’s committee was formed, and with that initiatives, significant progress has been made to this day.
He expressed his opinion by saying that the first head of GEFONT’s women’s department is now the president, and many GEFONT women leaders have been elected to the central parliament, province assemblies, and local level, and that women leaders working in GEFONT are not only rhetorical but also capable.
Rimal highlighted GEFONT’s previous activities with importance to understanding the status quo and achievement by evaluating and adding “we must move forward with a strategy for greater success in the future days”.
At the conference GEFONT President, Binod Shrestha agreed that GEFONT should always increase the representation of women, and that number of women workers in GEFONT and the union should be increased as well. He also noted that GEFONT is the first organization in Nepal that constituted a 33 percent female representation and that around 40% of women are currently represented on the GEFONT National Committee.
Likewise, Bina Shrestha, formal Vice-President of GEFONT and Central Member of CPN-UML, peter-Vice president of Guma Acharya Swedish Painters Union, Laetitia Baldan- International head of ACVBLIR and Usha Kiran Bhandari- President of Madan Bhandari Foundation, all wished success to the conference.
Former chairpersons of GEFONT women’s committee Swasti Bajracharya, Honorable President Bidhya Bhandari, Bina Shrestha, and Guma Acharya were honored in the program, which was headed by Mina Gurung, GEFONT Women’s Committee Chairperson.