(29 November 2022) On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, EPSU called for gender-based violence to be recognised an issue that impacts labour rights as much as human rights.
The call came as part of a social partners conference on third-party violence held in Madrid. The conference was the final event of a two-year project coordinated by EPSU and eight other social partners, examining the scale and impact of third-party violence and harassment at work in Europe.
The conference recognised violence at workplace as an issue with a strong gendered component, with more women than men exposed to all forms of adverse social behaviours (verbal abuse, bullying, harassment etc). New research from Eurofound reveals that young female workers in Europe are particularly threatened by verbal abuse and unwanted sexual attention. This gender-based violence is still heavily underreported. The European Commission estimates that only about a third of women who are physically or sexually abused by their partners contact the authorities. Anti-social behaviours at work such as verbal abuse are often normalised as being a ‘part of the job.’
Despite the high prevalence of gender-based violence, only five European countries have ratified ILO Convention 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the Workplace. On November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an EPSU delegation joined a march in Madrid to stop violence against women. Participants called on EU governments to ratify ILO Convention 190. The march was organised by the Spanish unions FSS-CCOO, FSC-CCOO, UGT SP and several others.