ILO Türkiye Office plans to conduct a study for addressing the data gap concerning the prevention of violence and harassment in the workplace

Recognizing the significant barriers that violence and harassment pose for women's entry into employment, it is crucial to assess the current situation in the workplace. Due to the limited research available on this issue, the ILO Türkiye Office plans to conduct a sector-specific study to close the data gap and address the prevention of violence and harassment in the workplace.

News | 05 June 2023
The ILO Türkiye Office organized a meeting in Ankara on May 30, 2023, with the aim of gathering the views and suggestions of relevant stakeholders regarding the scope of a sector-specific research study. This study aims to collect data on the prevalence of violence and harassment in the workplace, one of the major obstacles for women's entry into employment.

During the meeting, representatives from public institutions, workers' organizations, and employers' organizations provided their views and suggestions on the scope and methodology of the sector-specific research study to be conducted as part of the "More and Better Jobs for Women" Program, implemented by the ILO Türkiye Office with funding from Sweden.

The ILO study will be conducted in line with the provisions of Convention 190 (C190)

Assessing the current situation is crucial for legal and policy transformations aimed at preventing violence and harassment in the workplace, which is one of the major barriers to women's employment. However, research on this issue is limited both globally and in Türkiye.

In order to close this gap, the ILO has taken an important step at the global level by conducting a joint study with the Gallup research company and the Lloyd Register Foundation and published the report "Experiences of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work: First Global Survey" (2022), which analyzes the frequency of experiences of physical, psychological and sexual violence and harassment in the workplace and the experiences of people in disclosing these incidents: A First Global Survey" report (2022).

Based on this ILO initiative and in the light of Convention No. 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment at Work, the ILO Turkey Office is planning a sectoral survey to contribute to filling the data gap by conducting a qualitative and quantitative survey in Istanbul by interviewing workers and employers in one or more of the pilot sectors (metal, food, textile, clerical-trade, general works) where the program is being implemented.

During the meeting held in Ankara, Ebru Özberk Anlı, the Senior Programme Officer of the ILO Türkiye Office, provided information on the objectives of the sector-specific research and Gender and Social Dialogue Officer Dr. Ayşe Emel Akalın, shared the findings of the ILO-Gallup joint study.

Highlights from the report

According to the ILO-Gallup survey, at least 1 in 5 workers worldwide experience violence and harassment during their working lives. Among the groups most at risk of experiencing violence and harassment in the workplace are young people, migrants, wage workers, and individuals facing discrimination, including gender-based discrimination.

The research indicates that women report experiencing twice as much gender-based discrimination compared to men, and only 1 in 2 individuals shares their experiences of violence and harassment in the workplace with someone else. In this context, women are reported to be twice as likely as men to report experiencing gender-based discrimination (17.2% compared to 9%). Additionally, the rate of experiencing violence and harassment is higher among women who have faced gender-based discrimination compared to men (50.9% compared to 46.8%).

According to the same research, victims of violence and harassment, especially women, tend to share their experiences primarily with friends and family members. Participants in the study identified fear of time loss and damage to reputation as the most significant reasons for not disclosing their experiences of violence and harassment.

The research highlights several recommendations for preventing violence and harassment in the workplace. These recommendations include gathering more extensive and comprehensive data, increasing awareness on the issue, implementing preventive measures, combating discrimination, ensuring access to justice, and strengthening support services.