Global effort intensifies to end gender-based violence in the world of work

published 5 July 2017 updated 6 July 2017

Education International is urging its affiliates around the world to throw their support behind a campaign to end violence against women and men in the workplace through a proposed International Labour Organisation Convention addressing the issue.

This past November, Education International (EI) released a ‘Call to Action’ statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In this statement, EI showed its support for the ongoing trade union campaign for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Violence Against Women and Men in the World of Work, coordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

This Convention aims to address instances of gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace, including the education sector. Both men and women are at risk of experiencing violence and harassment due to unequal gender power balances and discriminatory behaviours, all of which can be commonplace in and around educational settings.

Women are particularly vulnerable to violence and harassment in the workplace, which hinders their economic empowerment and independence. In order to ensure employers make this issue a priority and take adequate measures to prevent and address instances of violence and harassment, this issue will be specifically addressed at the ILO’s Conference in 2018.

EI supports the ITUC campaign to stop gender-based violence at work and promotes the ILO’s creation of an international standard, since there is currently no global instrument addressing gender-based violence in the world of work. National Trade Union Centres and governments have the unique opportunity to get involved by completing a questionnaire about workers’ experiences and by providing evidence of GBV across multiple work sectors. The questionnaire must be submitted to the ILO by 22 September 2017 in order to be discussed at the 2018 ILO Conference.

It is crucial that all EI member organisations act now in support of the Convention, accompanied by a Recommendation. Without a Recommendation in addition to the Convention, the instrument will not be binding and holding employers accountable will be much more difficult.

This is an opportunity to end GBV in the world of work. Teachers’ unions are well placed to represent the education sector and take a stand against this pervasive and discriminatory issue.

Please visit the campaign website here.

Read the campaign toolkit, here.