Brazil Garment Workers’ Union Adopts Women’s Agenda

In a historic achievement, delegates to the 11th Congress of Brazil’s garment worker union federation, CNTRV (National Confederation of Clothing Workers) last week voted for gender parity in leadership and adopted a pro-women’s rights agenda.

The union achieved parity not only in the overall number of women and men in leadership, but also in its top executive positions.

“Women are empowered at the highest levels in the organization,” said CNTRV President Cida Trajano.

In partnership with the Solidarity Center, CNTRV in recent years ran a nationwide women’s leadership project, preparing women workers to assume leadership positions, according to Trajano.

“This is proof that the effort to form and organize feminist activism is worth it,” she said.

Over the next four years, CNTRV will focus on a pro-women’s rights agenda, including developing programs to combat gender-based violence at work and empower women workers; allow greater space for feminist agendas in communications; consult with women leaders and activists when developing recommendations for public policies affecting women; and expand women’s participation in collective bargaining and wage negotiations.

The Solidarity Center supports women workers seeking greater voice at the workplace across a range of employment sectors in Brazil, including the chemical, garment and hospitality industries, and domestic work. Together with the CNQ (National Confederation of Chemical Workers) CNTRV and CONTRACS (National Confederation of Service and Retail Workers), the Solidarity Center conducts trainings and campaigns to equip women to advocate for safer working conditions and more equitable salaries on the job, and to assume more active leadership roles in their unions.