As noted prominently by the United Nations, violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today.
Gender inequality persists worldwide. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms, as stated by the UN Secretary-General, in his latest report on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Therefore, combating sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence in the workplace is a top priority of IUF women members worldwide. The IUF gender equality manual published in 2007 states:
Sexual harassment is not a ‘personal’ issue; nor is it a ‘women’s’ issue; It is abuse and should not be tolerated, whoever does it; combating it is about the right of all workers to be free from harassment, and so it is a union issue.
At the 27th IUF World Conference in September, delegates from 90 countries around the world collectively pledged to halt violence against women and unanimously adopted a resolution on halting gender-based violence at the workplace.
The BCTGM delegation to the 27 World Congress, strongly advocated passage of the resolution on stopping violence against women in the workplace. According to International President David Durkee:
The BCTGM is deeply committed to workplaces that are free of any form of violence, discrimination or the disrespect of women workers.
The IUF unions resolved to give the issue urgency and priority, by working to document and to publicize the full dimension of gender violence, to take the issue into collective bargaining with employers, and through political action, including building support at home for an ILO Convention to establish an international legal framework. The Congress also urged affiliates to follow through with implementation of the international agreements on preventing sexual harassment with multinational companies.
Today, November 25, United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is an opportunity for unions around the world to mobilize for action against all forms of gender-based violence, but particularly at the workplace, where unions can make a difference. Read the IUF’s full statement here.
The BCTGM together with IUF affiliate unions around the globe, pledges to take comprehensive and far-reaching action to compel governments, employers and our own members to stop all forms of violence against women.
Today, the IUF’s Asia/Pacific region released this statement, “We Must” that calls for global unions to “take comprehensive and far-reaching action to compel governments, employers and our own members to stop all forms of violence against women.”