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Eduardo Rodríguez Calderón

ACTRAV specialist in the ILO Office for the Andean Countries in Lima


I understand that you have been a participant at the Turin Centre at two different periods of your life in different capacities. Can you tell our readers what were the main differences between these two experiences?

If I may, I would like to approach the question the other way round: the common factor was the principles underpinning the ILO, which boil down to the concept of social justice and its implementation through international labour standards, which are undoubtedly an expression of the greatest exercise in democracy in the world. The Seminar was held to teach us about the international system of labour law and its relationship with national legal systems; the Academy taught me more about standards relating to gender equality and much more.

Some of the main differences were:


The Seminar

The Academy

Aimed at

30 lawyers representing workers, employers and government

Professionals and experts from different professions, employers, workers, governments and non-governmental organizations, which added up to 150 women and men.


Latin American countries

the world


To learn about the international system of labour law and its interrelationship with the constitutional framework and work of Latin American countries

How to promote gender equality using tools and methods available at United Nation System level as well as best practices



Spanish, English, French and Arabic


4 weeks (two in Turin, one in Madrid and another in Geneva)

2 weeks in Turin

Delivery method

Mainly sessions with guest speakers

Various interactive training methods and techniques

Teaching faculty

ILO officers as well as trade union, business and government experts from Italy and Spain

Officers of the ILO, UN-Women and other institutions


More specifically, what were your main goals and expectations with regard to the 1983 training activity and the recent Gender Academy?

In the Seminar, my goals were to learn about the ILO system of standards and its relationship with the Mexican legal system. In the Academy, my goals were to improve my conceptual and methodological framework with the aim of more effectively performing my duties as a Specialist in Workers' Activities and introducing a gender perspective among the working team of the ILO Office for the Andean Countries. My goals and expectations were met in both cases.

What was the impact of the first training activity on your career, your organization and your country?

In immediate terms, as lecturer and subsequent Coordinator of the Law degree with specialism in labour offered at the Trade Union Centre for Advanced Studies of the Mexican Workers' Confederation (CTM), to contribute to the more holistic training of trade union leaders and advisers in order to defend and promote the interests of workers in this Confederation.

As adviser to the National Joint Committee for Wage Protection (CONAMPROS), a technical assistance body of the Mexican Labour Congress, it allowed me to introduce ILO standards concerning wage fixing and protection.

The training I received was very useful when I worked for the Inter-American Regional Organization of Workers ORIT (former ICFTU hemisphere-level body), the International Union of Food Workers and, from 1997, as an officer in activities for ILO workers.

Why did you decide to enrol in the Gender Academy?

Because I acted as the gender focal point in the ILO Office for the Andean Countries, which required me to acquire greater working expertise and commitment in order to be able to help promote gender equality.

What were your personal goals when you decided to return to Turin.

To acquire methods and tools that would enable me to incorporate a gender equality perspective in my work and my life.

And for your organization?

Elaborating on what I said before, within the field of technical assistance to trades unions, to help promote more appropriate strategies for female membership and collective bargaining with a gender perspective; step up efforts to ensure that Andean countries ratify C.189 and, in those countries that have already done so, to ensure they apply it and comply with it, thus directly benefiting one of the groups of women most excluded from employment and social security benefits. To help redouble efforts to achieve the principles and rights contained in Conventions such as 100, 111 and 156, which will allow us to change the face of our societies, which are characterised by discrimination and inequality.

And to support gender mainstreaming in the Office working plan

You have found a completely new Centre. What you think about that?

Yes, the facilities have been renovated and are more comfortable. The equipment is up-to-date and more in keeping with the requirements of an international training centre.

What would you say to a future participant on our training activities after these two experiences?

The experience of training in this Centre is a good life experience that leaves its mark and commits you to fighting for social justice.

Whatever happens,  it is a worthwhile experience, it will be an opportunity for renewal and professional growth that will enable you to build and be part of a network of professionals committed to development – and this will help you gain a more comprehensive view of the world of work.




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