*BWI Statement on the 2022 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
The Building and Wood Workers’ International – BWI joins women workers, trade unions and the international community in marking this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November by launching our annual “16 Days of Trade Union Activism on Violence Against Women.”
Led by our women trade union leaders from different parts of the world, BWI and its affiliates will continue to raise our voices against all forms of gender-based violence, and to build safer workplaces and homes for all working women. Similar to our past initiatives, the peak of this campaign will be on 10 December when we will all observe the International Human Rights Day.
Through our continuing activism against all forms of gender-based violence, BWI hopes to continue rallying its trade union affiliates, partners and allies to lobby their respective governments to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. Currently, and through our unceasing efforts, 22 countries have so far ratified the Convention. However, more countries are needed to commit to the measure if we are to create strong legal obligations for governments and employers to apply its provisions.
Right now, countries that have ratified the convention have started to implement it in various ways, including making direct references to the instrument in their respective collective bargaining agreements. We want this to be replicated in all countries. BWI believes that the convention is not only a crucial policy tool that protects working women from all forms of violence and makes workplaces and homes safer for women, it also brings us closer to the realisation of a gender-equal future.
To further express BWI’s strong commitment to build societies, workplaces and trade unions free from all forms of violence and harassment, in our 5th World Congress, we passed five key resolutions responding to gender equality issues. We also adopted a policy that provides for a mandatory 1/3 women representation in our Presidium and World Board. We believe that gender equality must start from the trade unions. If change doesn’t start from us, it will not happen at all.
We must be the change that we hope to see in the world. Together, let us work to ensure that violence against women becomes a thing of the past and every working woman will finally enjoy the right to work and live without fear of violence, harassment and discrimination.