European trade unionists will mark November 25 – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women – with a pledge to work against violence against women, whether at the workplace or at home, until it is eliminated.
The shocking facts are that
Trade unions have a track record of action against violence against women, both in the workplace and at home.
Research conducted by the European Trade Union Confederation* shows that
Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC): “Violence against women is very widespread, also at the workplace. Trade unions play an important role in combatting violence against women, and will not stop until it is eliminated.”
Montserrat Mir, Confederal Secretary of the ETUC responsible for gender equality issues: “The ETUC will continue to look at the role of trade unions in combatting violence against women, to share good practice and develop policy initiatives in this field, and to encourage trade unionists to do all they can to tackle violence against women and to support women who are the victims of violence.”
Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of the European Public Service Union (EPSU): “Cuts in public services must be reversed to provide targeted services that combat violence against women.”
Christine Blower, ETUCE President: “School-related gender-based violence has a damaging effect on education staff and students. Aiming for quality education, ETUCE is committed to fight against this form of violence and to ‘Make Education Safe for All’ (EI campaign) and supports this joint action of the European Trade Union Federations.”
Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa: “Let’s use the power of media to eliminate violence against women, to transport images of strong and independent women and to promote gender equality all around the world.”
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ): “Violence and harassment against women in the news media have become increasingly serious. They not only face physical threats but also digital threats. The severity of the problem requires not only the authorities to be tough on these crimes but also a culture of change in the workplace and society.”
Kerstin Howald, EFFAT Political Secretary for gender equality issues: “At EFFAT we take the issue very seriously. A substantial part of our gender equality work programme is devoted to the fight against sexual harassment and violence against women in the workplace, and we will pursue this particularly in our sectors.”
Cristina Tilling, ETF Political Secretary for Gender Equality: “Violence is the main factor that hinders retention of women transport workers in our industry. Workplace violence is one of the main priorities of the ETF Gender Equality Action Plan and we will soon start working on a training module for rank-and-file members in this critical issue.”
The ETUC will soon start an EU project “Safe at Home, Safe at Work”, looking at strategies for trade unions to manage and prevent workplace harassment and violence against women.
The ETUC represents 90 trade union organisations in 39 European countries, plus 10 European Trade Union Federations.