Women's Global Leadership Program

The Women’s Global Leadership Program is a four-day program in New York City that brings together women union and labor movement leaders and activists from across the United States to learn about the global economy and strengthen organizing and advocacy skills. Participants will develop tools and contacts to advance pro-worker, pro-women policies at the local, national and global level. They also will learn how to use their understanding of global issues to strengthen organizing campaigns that involve a multinational employer.

The training will happen in conjunction with the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, a yearly meeting that brings together governments and human rights advocates from around the world to discuss key issues affecting women’s empowerment. CSW is perhaps the largest international gathering of women in the world, and participants will be able to attend panels and other events. Participants must secure funding from their local union or other outside sources. Unfortunately, the AFL-CIO cannot cover individual costs for this program.

The global economy shapes the lives of working women. The WGLP will help participants develop a critical analysis of current political, economic and social trends and their impacts on workers and unions. The program will include training on economic institutions and policymaking, how economic policies can promote or hinder labor and women’s rights, the structure of the global labor movement, global organizing strategies, advocacy skills, and how to use international tools and mechanisms to promote economic and gender justice. The program also provides an opportunity for participants to meet women and workers’ rights advocates from around the world, identify opportunities to build contacts with other activists and leaders, and strengthen advocacy across the labor and women’s rights movements.

Sisters from around the world join together every year to form a trade union delegation to the CSW. WGLP participants will have the opportunity to build contacts and strategize with women representing trade unions from other countries, global union federations and international unions that bring together workers from common sectors. This year’s CSW meeting focuses on women’s empowerment in the changing world of work, and it is critical that union women are present to ensure labor rights are recognized as the central component of this issue. Governments and nongovernmental organizations need to hear from women workers about how organizing and collective bargaining raise working standards and foster respect and autonomy.

Women's Global Leadership Program participants pose for a picture.
Women's Global Leadership Program participants, 2017.