End VAW: ETF leads the way with Workplace Guidance to address violence and harassment against women at work

25 Nov 2020

ETF’s recent survey of around 3,000 women in transport identified that transport companies are not doing enough to protect them against violence and harassment. 49% of the respondents thought that their workplace did not prioritise a safe and adequate work environment for women. Covid-19 has only exacerbated this situation with an alarming increase in abuse against women in transport during the crisis.

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the ETF is taking a stand. Not only are we continuing to call on governments to ratify the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention No. 190 and Recommendation No. 206; we are also releasing our Workplace Guidance to address violence and harassment against women at work.

The ILO Convention is the first legally binding international labour standard to address all forms of, including gender-based, violence and harassment in the world of work and will come into force next year. Together with Recommendation No. 206, it provides a common framework for action and a unique opportunity to shape a workplace culture of respect and equality.

Upon ratification, governments will be expected to put these measures into place which requires consultations with workers and employers’ organisations. Even if it is not ratified, this instrument can be used to frame collective bargaining and negotiations relating to workplace policies and gender-responsive risk assessments.

The Convention provides a roadmap for a comprehensive and integrated set of standards that aim to eliminate gender-based violence in the world of work.

ETF’s Workplace Guidance builds upon these tools. It will support social partners at company and sector level to develop effective workplace policies that prevent and eliminate violence and harassment against women transport workers.

The guidance was developed by Dr Jane Pillinger, a global expert on gender equality and gender-based violence at work, and includes:

  • A comprehensive model workplace policy and procedure
  • A step-by-step guide and checklist for gender-responsive risk assessment as part of the management of occupational health and safety

ETF Women’s Committee Chair, Sara Tripodi, urges trade unions to use the guidance as a tool to end violence and harassment against women transport workers and adds:

“Trade unions are on the front line of combatting harassment and violence against women. Gender-responsive measures are needed to address the greater risks of violence and harassment against women transport workers. Everyone must play their part. Working together, workers and employers, women and men, we can create decent and fair work for all, and women’s rights and equality in the workplace.”

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