IDWF Leadership Capacity-Building Workshop

10 June, 2014, Elizabeth Tang | Elizabeth Tang

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The International Domestic Workers Federation held a four-day training workshop in Geneva, June 7-10, 2014 to build the capacity of its leaders to effectively direct a global workers organization. It was the first face-to-face meeting of the Executive Committee, Coordinators and Technical Team since the election at the Founding Congress in Uruguay last October. The workshop also provided an opportunity for the IDWF leadership team to get better acquainted with one another.

Photo: Fish Ip

The workshop began with a session on the IDWF and the Labour Movement, facilitated by WIEGO Organization and Representation Programme Director Chris Bonner. Through group work, participants discussed and created images of problematic trade union movements around the world. They recognized that domestic workers need the support from the labour movement, and that they – as leaders – have the same responsibility to strengthen the IDWF as a global worker organization.

The group also determined the objectives of the IDWF and drafted an eighteen month action plan, to implement the overall five year framework. Participants reviewed the IDWF strategic plan, listened to activity reports from coordinators and representatives of six regions, and completed a “Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)” exercise in small groups to diagnose the organization. The group reports showed many similarities across categories. For example, the IDWF’s membership number and the C189 were listed as strengths; poor communication and small organizations were some of the biggest weaknesses. For the eighteen month action plan, the participants agreed to focus on five key areas of work: strengthening of affiliates; protection of domestic workers rights with the ratification of the C189; increasing effective communication; establishing a well-functioning secretariat; and alliance-building with trade unions and other allies. 

WIEGO Global Projects Officer Sofia Trevino led the final session on communication strategies and plan. The central message of her presentation was that the IDWF must speak in one voice.  In addition, she and IDWF Asian Coordinator Fish Ip introduced several communications tools, including the IDWF website, PBworks (wiki), Facebook, and WhatsApp, and provided training on how to use them. At the end of the session, many of the participants felt happy and empowered.

As the workshop came to a close, IDWF President Myrtle Witbooi reminded everyone that – with their newly acquired Action Plan, communication tools and knowledge – they can only make the IDWF even stronger and more effective than before.

(This report was originally published at the August issue of the WIEGO MBO Newsletter.)



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