FWLD and Global 16 Days Campaign mobilize to call for ratification of the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention No. 190 in Nepal

March 9, 2021 — The Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD) in partnership with the Global 16 Days Campaign, jointly launched a national-level advocacy campaign with more than 25 allies from different sectors, to call on the Government of Nepal to ratify and implement the 2019 ILO Violence and Harassment Convention No. 190 (C190). C190 addresses violence and harassment in the world of work and was adopted by governments, including Nepal, in June, 2019. It is accompanied by Recommendation 206 which includes clear guidance for governments, employers, trade unions and other relevant institutions to end gender-based violence in the world of work. It has been ratified by four governments to date and will come into effect on June 25, 2021.

Nepal provides a range of protections for workers under its labor laws, but there are some crucial gaps. According to the ILO, 77% of the female workforce is engaged in agriculture. In urban areas, the majority of women are employed in the informal sector. Women’s labor force participation is high, but formal protection against abuse is low. Consequently, women are disproportionately at risk of violence and harassment in the world of work, with very little recourse.

“ILO Convention 190 is a powerful tool to demand the rights of women workers, who are disproportionately impacted by gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work. We are excited to join hands with the Global 16 Days Campaign to launch a national-level advocacy campaign in Nepal and work to with our allies from around the country to call on our government to ratify and implement this landmark Convention,” said Sabin Shrestha, Executive Director, FWLD.

The ratification of C190 will reaffirm Nepal’s commitment to ensuring the basic human rights of all workers and strengthen its efforts to end violence and harassment against women in the world of work. Around the world, COVID-19 pandemic control measures have contributed to an exponential increase in gender-based violence and women’s burden of unpaid domestic and care work. Application of the standards and strategies enunciated in C190 and R206 will help Nepal ensure a just recovery for all.

The Global 16 Days Campaign is coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL). It was initiated 30 years ago by CWGL and feminists from around the world to raise awareness about violence against women and secure its recognition as a human rights violation. “We are very excited about the launch of this new coalition which aims to secure the ratification of C190 by the Government of Nepal. Ending gender-based discrimination and violence in the world of work is a human rights imperative,” said Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director, CWGL.

For further information contact:

Roshana Pradhan at FWLD via email – roshana@fwld.org

Ardra Manasi at CWGL via email – au125@cwgl.rutgers.edu