Gender-based violence in the workplace is a pernicious and global labor and human rights violation that particularly impacts women, their well-being, and their participation in the economy and society.
Whether occurring at the actual place of work or on the way to and from work, it can take on multiple forms, including:
- Physical abuse, including assault, battery, attempted murder and murder
- Sexual violence including rape and sexual assault
- Verbal abuse and threats of violence
- Psychological abuse and intimidation
- Sexual harassment
- Threats of violence
- Economic and financial abuse
Worldwide, 35% of women have experienced violence, and 40 to 50% of women experience unwanted sexual advances, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at work.1
This global problem demands a global response. Trade unions are calling for a new international Convention on gender-based violence at the workplace, and are using their voice at the International Labour Organization’s Governing Body (ILO GB) to put the topic on the agenda of the International Labour Conference (ILC). The ILC is where international labour standards get negotiated and agreed upon by employers, governments and workers. A proposal is currently pending before the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to develop an international standard to guide governments and businesses on developing strong laws and policies to prevent and remedy the problem. Developing an international standard will promote global equality and foster safer workplaces.
You can take action now to support women workers’ rights and stand against gender-based violence at work, by urging Coca-Cola, Disney and Procter & Gamble — leaders in the United States Council for International Business — to support the call at the ILO Governing Board in November 2014 to put a standard-setting conversation on gender-based violence in the world of work on the agenda of the International Labour Conference.
International Labor Rights Forum