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Rose in front of the Kenyan metal workers

In a country dominated by men, a woman is Secretary-General of the metal workers’ union

Until now, the trade union movement in Kenya has largely been a matter for men. In the board of COTU, the Central Organization of Trade Unions, only three of 21 members are women.

Rose Omamo from Mombasa has, however, managed to brake the glass ceiling. She was elected Secretary-General of Kenya’s metal workers in AUKMW (Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers), becoming the first woman to head a traditionally male dominated union in Kenya.

High unemployment for women

”A general problem in Kenya is the high level of unemployment amongst women and young people, and that many businesses are moving away from steady jobs. Instead, they are introducing short-term contracts and moving to use outsourcing,” says Rose Omamo.

Pushing equal pay

As Secretary-General for the metal workers in Kenya, Rose Omamo is pushing the demand of equal pay. “I want to ensure my female colleagues the same rights as the men: equal pay for equal work,” she says.

Educating shop stewards

"After many years of cooperation with the Danish trade union movement, I am looking forward to a future where we, together, are able to secure the workers’ and women rights through training of our shop stewards and campaigning,” she says.