The starting point for developing the advocacy strategy was Karat’s research of vocational education and labor market for women graduated from vocational schools, and the analysis of the statistics on employment and pay gap between men and women (see “Vocational training and labor market for women with basic vocational education” and “Disparities between earnings of men and women with basic vocational education”).
In our work we referred to the CEDAW Convention signed by the Polish government. The government is obligated to take action to eliminate discrimination against women in employment and ensure the same employment rights, choice of profession and equal pay. Karat in partnership with the experts form the trade unions, academia, NGOs, educational and labour market’s institutions developed the recommendations for systemic solutions for the government. The main recipients of the recommendations were: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy, Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment, National Labor Inspectorate.
The advocacy activities were conducted in cooperation with the trade unions: the Polish Teachers’ Union (ZNP), the Polish Craft Trade’s Union (ZRP) and the All -Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ) in 2015-2017. The representatives of the unions have significant functions in the Social Dialogue Council (appointed by the President in October 2015 as the Trilateral Commission). We advocated together for introducing the female grammatical forms of the professions. The letters (see: Letter_to Minister_for Family,_Labor and Social Policy) were addressed to the relevant ministries calling for that. Having the female forms of professions would help to break down the barriers to girls’ access to the boys dominated vocational classes and, consequently, to equalize their educational and labor market opportunities.