Brussels, 25 November 2019: On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, EPSU stands on the side of women against violence, demanding equal pay, equal rights and proper law enforcement to protect female workers.
The protection of women’s rights had always been among EPSU’s founding pillars, for years we have been advocating for a strong and inclusive ILO Convention on gender-based violence at the workplace. On June 21 2019 the International Labour Organization adopted the Convention n.190 concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work.
We believe that the ILO Convention n.190 represents a step towards the recognition of women’s rights at work through a three-point system: prevention, protection and support. It also includes references to third party violence, a topic in which EPSU has been involved for long time and it signed the Multi-sectoral Guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work (2010). This Convention joins the number of tools supporting the eradication of violence against women.
In order to create a comprehensive support system around women, EPSU has been call pushing for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by the EU, who signed it in 2017 but did not ratify yet. We are now including a new fight to our present battles in favour of women: a campaign to support the ratification of the ILO Convention n.190.
We need to strengthen all the tools that would improve women’s rights, and we believe that the ILO Convention 190 goes towards that direction as it includes clear indications for its enforcement, via national public authorities. In a world where more than 60% of women who experienced violence did not tell anyone, without seeking help of ay sort (and the slightly less that 40% who did, mostly relied on family members and friends, not to competent authorities or police), we call for this trend to stop: women must be able to denounce violence without fear of retaliation, being humiliated or not been believed. Law must protect and support women.
EPSU and its affiliates call on Government to sign and ratify the ILO Convention 190 and the Istanbul Convention.