25 November is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. We encourage you to organise events to say NO to violence against women and girls. It is of crucial importance that the trade union movement as a whole takes action to stop the horrific violent realties millions of women and girls are facing.

We are pleased that following the launch of the Decent Work, Decent Life for Women Campaign on 8 March 2008, the number of trade unions who organise events and actions against violence against women and girls is growing. Trade unions have a key role to 1) highlight that violence against women is a human rights violation, 2) raise public awareness among governments, employers as well as within their own ranks and 3) press for the adoption and effective implementation of measures and sanctions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

The 1st World Women’s Conference (19-21 October 2009, Brussels, Belgium) adopted a resolution on ‘Violence against Women’ which aims to further intensify trade union action. Please refer to this resolution during your events on 25 November. We would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the launch of UNIFEM’s platform of action ‘Say NO – UNITE to End Violence against Women’ which aims to reach 100,000 actions by March 2010. ITUC is supporting this initiative by submitting a report of trade union activities on violence against women and girls.

The facts and information listed below serve as a supporting tool for your trade union events. To enable us to compile a full report of trade union activities for the next meeting of the ITUC Women’s Committee and ITUC webpage as well for UNIFEM’s platform of action, please send us information about the activities you organise by the end of December 2009 to: [email protected].

We wish you every success in your work to eliminate gender-based violence and achieve gender equality!