Published: 05/03/2018
The International Women’s Day celebrated by IUF affiliates this year is devoted to the struggle to end violence against women, violence which is rooted in resistance to equality. Sexually harassing a woman is an insidious reminder that she has no right to be at work. This is why this struggle is everybody’s business, and why the trade union role is so vital.

The 2017 IUF 27th Congress adopted a resolution urging affiliates to prioritize the problem of gender-based violence, to collect the data needed to effectively map the scope and scale of the problem and to develop the tools needed to effectively combat it. The resolution calls on affiliates to implement the agreements on preventing sexual harassment that the IUF has concluded with Chiquita, Unilever and Sodexo and to extend these agreements to other transnational companies.

An international instrument is needed to harmonize and address the gaps in existing national legislation, legislation that is not always adequate or adapted to deal with gender-based violence at the workplace. The adoption of an international Convention to end violence against women in the world of work by the next International Labour Conference is critical. The IUF fully endorses the campaign for an ILO Convention launched by the International Trade Union Confederation. Adoption of this Convention will signal strong international support for the ongoing work on this crucial issue which IUF affiliates in every region have been engaged in for decades.