Two years after the Working Women’s Charter was adopted, the delegates at the PSA conference in 1982 adopted a report on the participation of women in the PSA.
The report was triggered by an under-representation of women holding paid or elected positions within the PSA proportional to their membership. While in the early 1980s a third of the PSA members were women, today in 2013 over half of the PSA members are women. The report recommended collecting up-to date information on women’s membership, occupations and representation to effectively increase female participation on decision making bodies.
In order to achieve this goal a policy of affirmative action was adopted and educational material and programmes were suggested to be made available to women in particular. This was one of the first attempts to implement a claim of the Charter: ‘special trade union education courses for women unionists (…)’. Despite the fact that more women are holding executive positions and are better represented on decision making bodies, women remain under-represented in the public sector and within the PSA.