Trade union strategies to prevent, manage and eliminate work-place harassment and violence against women

Gender-based violence and harassment is a form of discrimination that causes
significant harm to women, whether it take place in the workplace, in public
places, on public transport, in schools and colleges, or in the family.

A report produced as part of the ‘Safe at Home, Safe at Work' Project of the
European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) draws together evidence collected
from interviews carried out as part of 11 detailed country case studies of
European-level developments on gender-based violence and harassment at work,
including domestic violence at work. The report shows how trade unions and/or
social partners have approached the issue in negotiations, collective
bargaining, union awareness-raising, training and campaigns, and partnerships
with women's organisations working to end gender-based violence.

The report points to good practices in the workplace and shows the added value
of trade unions actions, innovations and negotiations to support victims and
create workplaces free from violence and harassment. Therefore the authors
conclude that gGender-based violence in the workplace needs to be tackled in
the broad context of all forms of violence against women, as a way of promoting
a change in culture. In modelling good practice, the workplace can play a
positive role by setting acceptable standards of behaviour and respect for
women, with a spill-over effect in the community and in the family.

A crucial issue is that unions and employers need to understand that
gender-based violence, in all of the forms that it takes in the workplace, is a
form of gender discrimination, which requires a focus on tackling structural
gender inequalities. A reduction in gender inequalities and gender segregation
will reduce the risks of violence against women.

The media has a major influence in society, and can be a key partner with
unions in challenging harmful stereotypes about gender-based violence, engaging
in public and media campaigns to end gender-based violence at work and in
public places, and ensuring that these campaigns reach the police, the
judiciary and other public institutions.

Unions across Europe recommend a systematic, ongoing campaign of awareness
raising, so that male workers and trade unionists, and employers, understand
the gendered nature of violence against women. This is particularly important
in ensuring that sexual harassment and domestic violence at work are included
in agreements on violence and harassment at work, in company-level bargaining
and workplace policies. In the broader context, a key role for unions is to
continue advocating for women to have access to good quality work and equal pay
for work of equal value. It is crucial for unions reinforce gender
mainstreaming and address discrimination across multiple grounds using an
intersectional approach.

More info

AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work