In a regional meeting of women labour rights advocates in October 2015, women activists noted that the health issues of women workers were not often looked at in a gender-sensitive manner, leading to many issues being ignored and unaddressed. Many organisations also lack information on reproductive health and hazards, ergonomics and the effects of stress on the health of women in particular. This workshop brought together women workers’ educators to analyse and strategise how better to address OSH for women workers.
The activists discussed how differences in sex and gender impact a woman worker's work and health, how cultural and social barriers prevent women from speaking up about their health concerns. A mapping of occupational hazards in the workplace with a gendered lens was conducted among the sectors represented by the participants. Groups shared training manuals, research and advocacy strategies that were effective in addressing and championing women workers' rights to a safe workplace. A mapping of the legal protection standards concerning OSH for women in the 8 countries represented was conducted. At the end of the workshop, two areas were identified for further study and possible future campaigns: maternity protections and addressing the psychosocial health problems of women, especially that of stress.