Center for Women’s Global Leadership welcomes new ILO treaty to end violence and harassment against women in the world of work

21 June 2019, New York: The International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention and Recommendation on ending violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work – adopted today in Geneva at the International Labour Conference has been applauded by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL).

The ILO Instrument which is legally-binding, addresses gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work. “There’s an obligation for governments to now ratify and implement this Convention and for employers to prevent and remedy violence and harassment in a way that advances the human rights of women workers, and does so in consideration of their intersecting identities and broad range of work realities,” said Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director of CWGL.

Despite the prevalence of violence and discrimination faced by women in the world of work globally, none of the ILO conventions adopted in its 100 years of existence have a specific focus on gender-based violence and its direct link to gender-based discrimination. “It is important to recognize the inextricable link between discrimination and violence. Preventing violence and harassment requires employers and governments to address gender-based discrimination against women,” Dharmaraj said. This historic new Convention establishes a uniform set of minimum standards to prevent, identify, and provide redress in cases of gender-based violence in the world of work. It is a milestone for women’s rights from the efforts of women workers themselves, and a necessary step to ensure women’s right to work in addition to decent conditions of work, and ultimately to achieve equality.

Despite the adoption of the Instrument – CWGL is urging for more meaningful action. It is essential that gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work be recognized and addressed as a human rights violation. This link has already been established, and since 1993 been acknowledged by governments as women’s human rights.


We now call upon States to ratify this new Convention and ensure national implementation that is compliant with existing human rights standards as expressed in the new convention, international treaties and regional instruments in order for all women to achieve dignity at work.

CWGL has reiterated support for women workers who have diligently worked to advance this agenda. “This long-term vision to achieve equality by ending violence and harassment requires courage and persistence. We strongly believe that a world without violence is possible and aim to shift violence from being the norm to being the exception” said Dharmaraj.

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