Toronto – December 4, 2019 – On December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, communities across the country gather to commemorate and reflect upon the tragic loss of fourteen women students at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique, who were brutally murdered in 1989 simply because they were female.
Thirty years later, young women between the ages of 15 and 34 face the highest risk of violence in our country, and over half of women in Canada will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. But violence against women and girls is not confined to our borders. Rather, it is a human rights issue that affects women around the world.
According to the United Nations, 818 million women globally have experienced sexual or physical violence at home, in their communities, or in the workplace. More than one in three countries have no laws against sexual harassment in the workplace, and an estimated 235 million women are left unprotected.
However, ILO Convention C-190 – The Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, could change lives of women and all workers for the better. The convention was recently adopted at the International Labour Organization (ILO), a tripartite agency that brings together governments, employers, and workers to set labour standards, develop policies, and create programs promoting decent work for all.
It recognizes that violence and harassment in the world of work “can constitute a human rights violation or abuse…is a threat to equal opportunities, is unacceptable, and (is) incompatible with decent work.”
“This December 6, we are sending a clear message that violence must be challenged on every front, including at work,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. “ILO Convention C-190 recognizes the right of everyone to a workplace free from violence and harassment, and we urge the federal government to ratify it.”
You can act on this important issue by joining UFCW, together with the Canadian Labour Congress and all its affiliates, in calling on the Government of Canada to sign ILO Convention C-190. Click here to send your message today. Activists can also help raise awareness of violence against women by participating in the #NotOkay campaign. And to learn more about UFCW Canada’s work to end violence against women and girls, visit our Women and Gender Equity webpage.