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IndustriALL calls for proactive prevention to eliminate violence against women

24 November, 2023On this 25 november, the International day for the Elimination of Violence against women, IndustriALL calls for proactive prevention against gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH).

Recognizing the need for change within trade unions, IndustriALL President Jörg Hoffman, in June 2023, stressed the need to challenge patriarchal power structures.

"The focus is not only on inviting women into unions but fostering an environment where they actively contribute to shaping policies,"

said Hoffman.

During the upcoming 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, trade unions must play a critical role in addressing and preventing GBVH within the world of work. The ILO Convention 190 (ILO C190) highlights the importance of an inclusive, integrated, and gender-responsive approach to prevent GBVH, tackling underlying causes such as gender stereotypes, discrimination, and unequal power relations in the world of work.

Whilst the duty of care primarily rests on the employer, trade unions have an important role to play. The significance of collective bargaining in preventing GBVH is highlighted by the ILO C190 and Recommendation 206 including in establishing GBVH policies and gender-responsive risk management . IndustriALL's research identifies various risk factors in sectors, including gender power inequalities, victim blaming, job segregation, and precarious work. 

Changing work culture is central to preventing GBVH, sexism, and misogyny. IndustriALL stresses the need for ambitious measures, involving trade unions actively in the process, to eradicate behaviors contributing to hostile environments, such as sexist jokes.

The call for collective action encourages men and women in unions to unite against GBVH, sexism, and misogyny. IndustriALL urges its affiliates to engage workplaces, educate members—especially men—on GBVH and the ILO C190.

“As the world marks 25 November and the  16 days of activism, IndustriALL invites unions to share their actions and campaigns against GBVH, misogyny, and sexism. The call is to intensify efforts and develop renewed strategies and programs for year-round prevention.

Let’s all intensify our efforts during this period and come up with renewed strategies and programmes to prevent GBVH, sexism and misogyny throughout the year,”

said Christina Olivier, IndustriALL assistant general secretary.