Today, 25 November, IndustriALL Global Union affiliates around the world will be marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
A UN study found that one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. However, less than 40 per cent who experienced violence sought help of any sort. Only 10 per cent of those went to the police.
Early this year, IndustriALL and global union IUF made an agreement with Unilever to help prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and make it easier for employees to report it.
IndustriALL and IUF’s joint agreement with consumer product multinational, Unilever, covers 168,000 people worldwide. Not only does it provide a clear definition of sexual harassment for management and employees but it also sets out procedures for employees to raise an issue and report any abuses in confidence.
“Trade unions have a vital role to play in stopping violence against women in the workplace. Clauses to tackle sexual harassment and violence against women can be included in collective bargaining agreements. Organizing more women in unions and having more women as leaders will mean that women’s voices and concerns will be better heard,” said IndustriALL assistant general secretary Jenny Holdcroft.
“We must work harder to prevent violence against women in the workplace and act when it occurs, including when trade union members are the perpetrators. More trade unions need to adopt strong policies against violence in the workplace, which can be used to educate all their members about what is and what is not acceptable treatment of women,” added Holdcroft.
This year, the International Trade Union Confederation is calling on trade unions to join their campaign for an ILO Convention to stop gender-based violence at work. Find details of the campaign here.
Tell us about your actions to stand up against violence against women by emailing: [email protected]