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“In my country, Australia, we know that one in three women at some time in their lives experience domestic violence or violence against them in a sexual way. We also know that one in four children see domestic violence take place in their home. We know… that one women each week loses her life through domestic violence or violence committed by a male person whom she knows. These are unacceptable standards in any country in which we live” said McLean, as he introduced Boemo Bato from Botswana and Julian Corrales from Colombia, two female and male young workers who have shaped a future free of violence.
Bato brought hope in the fact that “PSI has adopted for the first time a gender-mainstreamed Programme of Action that provides a broad political commitment”. But real change relies on people acting. Men have a major responsibility and historical opportunity in transforming gender relations and take individual and collective actions in different contexts. “It’s time for us men to end violence in our language, in our actions, in our unions and in human history”, emphasized Corrales.
This symbolic event took place as a step forward in the international trade union movement’s campaign for a new ILO Convention to end violence against women and men in the world of work, the first discussion of which will take place at the ILC 2018. PSI’s male voices – Charles Mukhwaya from Kenya, Joao Domingos Gomes do Santos from Brazil, Venkata Narasimhan from India and Kevin McHugh from the United Kingdom – were heard around the globe: they not only reached our union members in Africa and Arab countries, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas, they also reached the representatives of governments and employers with a strong message urging for the end of violence against women, and in particular at work.
Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary, congratulated this step “that clearly defines the aim to end gender violence as a struggle for human rights and freedom for all, integrates the systemic causes of violence against women and addresses the fundamental needs of women´s economic, political, educational, social and integral personal autonomy”.
Finally, Juneia Batista, PSI WOC Chair, declared “The PSI WOC members endorse this common work to transform gender relations, including the historic sexual division of labour, the undervaluing of women’s work and the fight for the real materialization of women´s rights, including their sexual and reproductive life”.
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16 days of activism to end violence against women
Actions around the world
En la Asociación de Servidores Públicos de Antioquia – ADEA, Colombia, los hechos también hablan más que las palabras. Los compañeros Juan B. Estrada y Julián Corrales de Colombia compartieron con la Junta Directiva de este sindicato la campaña de erradicación de violencia contra las mujeres encabezada por la ISP. En pleno la Junta Directiva de ADEA se comprometió a hacer parte fundamental de su agenda y articularlo al trabajo que ha venido desarrollando en el sector municipal, con las mujeres y con los jóvenes del departamento de Antioquia en Colombia. Los hombres asumimos el compromiso de erradicar todas las violencias contra las mujeres en el mundo del trabajo.
On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, male members in India took a pledge with a message to governments and employers urging them to end violence against women especially at work.
South African Young Women Workers carry a message scripted on a paper saying: “Women are the Architecture of our Society: Stop Killing Us” which also has the “16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse” message on it.
Workshop participants from South Africa pose with messages as part of the commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Children Abuse campaign. One of the messages reads: “It Can Happen to Anyone: Protect Our Children”.
Statement from Algerian Trade Unions
We, committee of women workers of SNAPAP / CGATA and members of the working group on violence against women in the workplace, have attended a conference / debate, held at the Bab Ezzouar union house on December 02, 2017 in, Alger .
The light of debates focused mainly on the current socio-economic context, which is the generator of all forms of violence. We consider the rogue laws passed in the past and the 2018 finance law passed by a parliament in the service of the oligarchy, as anti-social measures real sources of multifaceted violence, which hit women hard and make them more and more vulnerable. socially and economically as they destabilize and dislocate the family in precariousness and famine.
The increase in prices not only include bread but also oil, sugar and widely consumed commodities that will be inaccessible to employees – this a new source of social and economic violence.
We, women workers, refuse, denounce, and strongly condemn the cancellation of wealth tax, at a time when the state coffers are empty. Instead the authorities take money out of the pockets of their employees in distress, in the face of reduced purchasing power.
We women workers, appeal to all those who want to tell decision-makers that your laws are generating violence, that we refuse to suffer and that it is time to raise our voices together to shout loudly: enough is enough.