Women News

World Women’s Assembly: Trade unions are calling for an ILO Convention to stop gender-based violence at work

As sexual harassment is not yet the subject of any binding international convention, delegates at the second World Women’s Conference made a strong call for an ILO Convention to stop gender-based violence at work.

A major focus for the union movement is to tackle violence against women at the workplace. Unions around the world are working on measures to ensure women are protected at work, and on education and publicity actions to bring home just how serious and unacceptable it is to ignore the issue.

Violence against women is the most widespread and socially tolerated of all human rights violations.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, “Everything must be done to have a Convention soon. The ILO governing body has to put it on its agenda; women at work deserve to have this essential international tool.”

Governments have the responsibility to stop violence against women, but too many of them are failing to do so. Impunity is the norm in many places, so we need better laws to prevent violence, and real enforcement of these laws to protect women and girls.

The Conference also pointed out the impact of economic austerity measures, with reduced services to protect women, and economic stresses fuelling violent behaviour.

The Conference also pointed out the impact of economic austerity measures, with reduced services to protect women, and economic stresses fuelling violent behaviour.