16 days of action: Towards ending gender-based violence

November 22, 2018

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 marks the first day of 16 globally recognized days of activism to end gender-based violence.

This year, Canada’s unions are taking action to specifically address gender-based violence in the workplace. Violence and harassment are a daily reality for far too many workers in Canada. The #MeToo movement has demonstrated how gender-based violence, including sexual harassment, remain a significant barrier for women, trans and gender diverse workers. Canada’s unions are calling for government action to prevent and stop violence and harassment at work.

Globally, Canada’s unions have united behind the effort to negotiate a new convention at the International Labour Organization (ILO). This binding convention would hold governments and employers accountable for preventing and addressing all forms of violence and harassment at work.

“This important convention establishes a common understanding of what harassment and violence is, how it manifests at work, and who faces greater risk or is most vulnerable to its effects. It will help drive government regulation and employer action,” said CLC Secretary-Treasurer, Marie Clarke Walker. Walker is the worker spokesperson for the negotiations.

In Canada, governments are now recognizing gender-based harassment and violence as an issue that requires action in every workplace. Earlier this fall, workers in the federal sector and those living in Newfoundland and Labrador won paid domestic violence leave. That brings to five the number of provinces where paid domestic violence leave exists.

But there still remains much work to do.

Over the next 16 days, the CLC will encourage online actions through our #DoneWaiting campaign to keep up the pressure on elected officials to make further progress on these issues.

The CLC will host two interactive video events during the 16 days of action.

  • “Building Consent Culture in Workplaces” Facebook live discussion on November 26 at 6:00 p.m. EST. Register here.
  • “How to Win Paid Domestic Violence Leave” webinar on December 3 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Register here.

To learn about events and vigils in your community, visit this 16 days of action calendar of events.

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