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ETUC project “Safe at home, Safe at Work” raises awareness of trade unions and calls for EU action to end violence against women

[Article by Pinar Özcan, EWL Board member representing ETUC, August 2017]

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) launch event of its study “Safe at Home – Safe at Work” took place in the International Trade Union House in Brussels on Monday 12 June 2017.

At this meeting policy-makers, social partners and NGOs came together and discussed how to best implement the recommendations of the study. The launch was also an excellent occasion to meet with colleagues and Brussels-based stakeholders committed to fighting violence against women.

EWL Policy and Campaigns Director Pierrette Pape participated to the Final Conference and presented EWL important recommendations to end violence against women. She pointed out to the reality of violence against women at work: its prevalence, its link with the continuum of male violence, the tolerance for such violence at work, and the new emerging forms such as cyber-bullying at work. She then highlighted how trade unions can play a critical role to raise awareness and preventing violence at work and at home. She gave several recommendations, such as considering such violence as a crime, not just a discrimination issue; ensuring that all women are protected, including the most vulnerable ones; having women’s committees in all trade unions; walking the talk and having internal guidelines about history of sexual violence and decision-making; working with women’s organisations about all forms of male violence and towards the adoption of an EU directive to end all forms of male violence. She gave examples of coalitions where the trade unions were involved (like Turn Off the Red Light in Ireland), and congratulated ETUC for its work, which gives visibility to the link between violence at home and violence at work.

EWL factsheet on violence against women includes violence against women at work, and mentions the ETUC campaign as a good practice.

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

This 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. 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. 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.

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Loud and United to end violence against women and girls, European Women’s Lobby Conference, 6 December 2017, Brussels.

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