16 Days 2019 Campaign Update

This has been a historic year for women’s rights. On June 21, 2019, governments, along with representatives of workers and employers from around the world, adopted a new ILO convention that establishes global standards to end violence and harassment in the world of work.  The convention is accompanied by a recommendation which provides further guidance for employers, governments and workers for implementation. We hope those of you who helped make this happen have had some time to savor the historic milestone and, for those of you who are just hearing about it, we are excited to announce that a call for ratification and local implementation of the new standards is going to be central to the Global 16 Days Campaign this year.   

As coordinator of the Global 16 Days Campaign, we wanted to briefly share what’s coming as you begin planning your activities for your 16 Days Campaign this November 25 – December 10. We are excited to build on and sustain the momentum created by the historic mobilization that contributed to the adoption of these new international legal standards.

Keep your eyes out for a 2019 Global 16 Days Advocacy Guide in early October. 

Meanwhile, here’s a quick recap of where we are, how we got here, and our roadmap for this year’s Global 16 Days Campaign:

  • In November 2018, the 16 Days Campaign announced a multi-year, global theme to end gender-based violence in the world of work. We also: 
    • launched this 16 Days digital platform as a global resource hub for information on issues faced by women in the world of work, including relevant studies, standards, stories and graphics; and,
    • expanded focus from awareness to accountability, moving from a burst of activity during the 16 days between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 till Human Rights Days on December 10, to a sustained year-round effort. The shift from “16 to 365 days of awareness and activism” is reflected in the launch of a series of sector highlights since January 2019 on domestic work, garment work, journalism, politics, and agriculture and health.     
  • Since June 2019, 16 Days has refocused efforts on #RatifyILO190. This is the next step needed for implementation, measurement, and ultimately an end to gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work. We have been working collaboratively with old and new allies to strategize around the new standards. This month we co-hosted and participated in a webinar with the U.S. Human Rights Network to disseminate information about the new instrument and hear from workers who participated in the ILO process, and we are planning more. We are in the process of convening a major public event in March 2020, to make women workers’ voices and experiences central to the demand for ratification and implementation of the new instrument with a gendered approach. 
  • Our roadmap going forward: in early October 2019 we will publish the 16 Days Campaign Advocacy Guide in English to inspire and guide activities by women’s rights organizations on the ground around the campaign theme of ending GBV in the world of work. Spanish and French versions will follow. Our main goal is to help bridge the women’s rights and labor rights movements and generate a unified demand for ratification and implementation of the new ILO standards. With the Advocacy Guide we aim to encourage concerted action led by women’s rights organizations with unions, workers, national-level parliamentarians, and journalists to accelerate progress in this direction. The guide may be used by other actors and stakeholders to design their 16 Days Campaign activities as well. 
  • In early October, we will release a thematic sector highlight on this platform showing the links between intimate partner violence and its impact on women in the world of work, to further reinforce the importance of recognizing and addressing this link, as provided for in the new instrument.
  • By early November, we will reactivate our newly launched Global 16 Days map on this platform showcasing campaign activities around the world. Expect to hear more from us soon about sending us information about your events. 

In 2019-2020, together we will call on governments to ratify and locally implement the new ILO standards, as we continue to move from widespread awareness of GBV in the world of work, toward accountability through national advocacy, to end it.

Thank you for being part of the 16 Days community and we look forward to your continued support and engagement.