Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN14_10a: Resistance is everywhere
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Orly Benjamin, Bar Ilan University
Location: UP.4.211
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Fourth Floor Oxford Road

Session Abstract

The continuous struggles to improve women's power position in fighting exploitation.

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La Plataforma de Estibadoras de Algeciras. History of a fight

Empar Aguado-Bloise

Universitat de Valencia, Spain

The study of occupational segregation by sex is of great interest, especially when it focuses on the observation of entry barriers found by women in masculinized sectors and occupations. The transport sector is one of the most segregated in the EU in terms of gender, and although the participation of women in the sector is growing, its presence is still limited in comparison with other activities in the services sector. One of the occupations of this sector is the port stowage, a profession until recently exclusively of men. It is worth mentioning that until 2018 the Spanish port with the highest occupation in the sector still did not admit women, the Port of Algeciras. The platform "Mujeres estibadoras de Algeciras" was set up to fight and make visible this discrimination based on sex. This platform proposed having options to get a job in the stowage on equal terms with respect to men who joined the sector. The denunciations made by this platform deserved the attention of the Andalusian Institute for Women and another institution. In this communication we try to capture the history of this struggle, from the constitution of the Platform to the entry of the first women in the sector.

The Battle over Kindergarten Teachers’ Wages: Outsider-Driven Deinstitutionalization of a Gendered Labour Market Practice

Paula Hannele Koskinen Sandberg

Tampere University, Finland

In March 2018, Finnish media revealed that there was a secret agreement, a “wage cartel”, on kindergarten teachers’ wages between three municipalities in Finnish capital area. These municipalities had agreed on not to compete with each other over labour force with wage increases. At the same time, there had been a severe shortage of labor force in this sector. Kindergarten teachers are among the undervalued, feminized occupations of the public sector. The revelation made by the media resulted in public outrage, and the rise of a social movement called #NoPlayMoney. The social movement, initiated by an angry mother and entrepreneur, mobilized thousands of people in just a couple of days through social media. The work of the social movement has already resulted in wage increases in several Finnish municipalities.

I utilize the idea of outsider-driven deinstitutionalization (Maguire & Hardy, 2009), and how it takes place by problematization of pillars that uphold an institutionalized practice, such as the legitimacy of paying feminized work of the public sector low wages based on historical developments and gendered labour market practices. As a methodology for the analysis, a narrative approach will be utilized. In addition, the analysis includes auto-ethnographic elements, since the author has been one of the active actors in the social movement. The data used in the analysis are media material from 2018 about the case, interviews of central actors (10 interviews) and the field notes collected by the author.

Young Female Trade Unionists’ Perspectives on Self-Organisation: Collective Contradictions

Eve Ewington1, Susan Durbin2

1Lancaster University, United Kingdom; 2University of the West of England, United Kingdom

Today, most UK trade unions have implemented at least some gender equality strategies such as women’s committees, separate spaces, reserved seats, or mentoring and learning programmes, reflecting a drive within trade unions to both widen their appeal to a more diverse workforce and to allow marginalised groups opportunity to voice their concerns and priorities. A driving force for such change comes from self-organisation within trade unions, but this has been criticised for its reliance on assumptions that certain social identities provide a platform from which collectives can be mobilised. To evaluate the extent to which self-organisation still plays a significant role in the promotion of gender equality, it is essential to consider the perspectives of a younger, perhaps more individualistic (Peetz, 2010) generation of trade unionists.

Using qualitative data from two trade unions, this paper explores the attitudes of young women towards female-only spaces within their trade unions.

The data suggests that unlike other social identities, female gender identity is a contested identity when it comes to collective organisation. Many young women, despite their own experiences of gendered disadvantage, question the ongoing need for female-only spaces, and suggest that such organisation is unfair if it excludes men. This, together with some negative perceptions of feminism in general, leads women to challenge female gender identity as a self-organising collective, with potential consequences for their representation in the face of challenges including the threat Brexit may pose to social rights and women’s rights in the workplace.


Peetz, D., 2010. Are individualistic attitudes killing collectivism? Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 16(3), pp.383-398.

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