International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Time to banish Violence Against Women in the Workplace

Statement | 25 November 2015
On this Day the ILO sends the clear message that decent work cannot exist in an environment of violence. Decent work, a goal widely adopted, including in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, means that women and men are able to work in conditions of freedom, dignity and security.

Freedom from gender-based violence at work- like all forms of violence – is a matter of rights and well-being as well as of efficiency. Women are often disproportionately affected by workplace violence. Such violence buttresses inequality and in so doing undermines the development potential of all people. For as long as gender-based violence and gender inequality exist, the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda will remain elusive.

The issue of gender-based violence is being taken up in the ILO’s Women at Work Centenary Initiative. In 2016 the ILO will convene a meeting of worker, employer and government experts on violence in the world of work which will lay the groundwork for future action.

Today we urge all actors in the world of work to confront the culture of discrimination that allows violence to persist in the workplace and the way in which women are particularly affected and to take action. The means are there – including through social dialogue, collective agreements and legal frameworks as well as the systematic collection of sex disaggregated statistics on the incidence of violence in the world of work.

Let us use all means available and use them well because it is more than time to banish violence against women in the workplace.