It was an absolute honour to join the global delegation this year in Liverpool, for the 5th World Women's Conference.
Why It Matters
As you know I am passionate about rights, equal rights, workers rights, and other rights for a fair world where everyone is valued.
This conference was my first of this global magnitude, and hopefully the first of many more I can be involved with for years to come.
This coming together of female activists, was not only inspirational, motivational, and somewhat of a call to action across the world, it was hand on heart, something that feels the most important current movement to be part of. I'm not only humbled by the stories of struggles other fellow speakers shared, but impassioned to renew efforts to stand up for those that don't or can't have, a voice globally, and back home.
We debated, shared achievements, and set priorities for the coming years. These were…
The Gender Equality rule in UNI
Mentoring Programme for Women in Tandems
Violence Against Women
Talking about my work
And the final topic "The Future World of Work, I spoke on.
Only 47% of the worlds population have digital skills and connectivity, 90% in Europa, and even though the UK is know as "world leading" for its digital skills and technologies, we still only have 79% of UK with competent digital skills.
Now that 90% of jobs now require some form of digital skills, benefits such as child allowance and pensions will be going online only, and people trying to find a job will have to register weekly online, the 21% that don't have these digital skills, are being left behind.
And even though the first programmer to make the first computer useful, was a woman, Ada Lovelace, from right here in the UK, we see the digital gender divide here as 20%.
We are very lucky to have some fantastic Union-run training programmes, that are vital for workers, especially for those of who are freelancers or those with atypical working patterns, and may not have access to training any other way.
In my day job, I run my own digital training and online services company and am very passionate about digital skills equality.
As part of the EU's ERDF funding my company has delivered many digital inclusion projects for those in diverse and deprived communities including LGBTI and women's only digital training.
I hate to mention it, but brexit, Britain leaving the European union, means that these vital programmes may stop taking place and I worry, how these communities will be supported in future.
I work with artificial intelligence and I personally believe it will always need human interaction and emotional intelligence to be successful.
We need to stop being afraid of the unknown and embrace and use technology as a tool, and not let technology control us. We need to utilise the benefits it brings such as remote online and flexible working for women.
At the moment, the future world of work is gender bias, we need to get our unions, trades councils, national governments and global organisations to offer extra support and training in digital skills for women and diverse communities, for the future of work.
What an opportunity! <3
As you may have noticed, I've recently started up a hashtag on Twitter - #Lizsmorninginspiration well here's some additions from the conference.
Some of my favourite quotes include…
"The future of unions is female"
"Womens voices are key to changing the lives for the better for women"
Issues such as the recent block of UK Upskirting laws, the 23% global gender pay gap, the campaign against all male panels (or for us, single gender), digitisation from a gender perspective, and occupational and sectoral segregation were covered over the 3 days.
With 10 million women across the world, we need to consider everyone, not just men in conversations that are "important" and with the new UNI Womens World President is Patricia Nyman from SACCAWU from South Africa, and the new UNI President Chrissy Hoffman, as two amazing key female players at the global table, I'm sure they'll be making sure the priorities, get prioritised!
So, what are you doing for justice, human rights and people? Let's take the strapline for this year to heart, let's be the ones….
"Making It Happen"
#makingithappen #uni18 #proudofmyunion