Barbara Byers, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress, accompanied a delegation of Canadian trade union leaders and activists at the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City beginning on March 4.
“We want to do everything possible to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls,” Byers says.
Canadian women are among trade union members represented by four international global union federations, including the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The union delegation represents over 70 million women workers from 27 countries around the world.
Byers says, “Our trade union delegation calls on governments, including Canada’s, to do more to end violence against women and girls in their respective countries.”
Byers adds that trade union delegates want to see measures to address violence in the workplace; for women’s economic independence through decent work; for access to public services to help victims of violence, and for education measures as a means to prevent and eliminate violence.
Byers says, “We believe that trade unions should be identified as important stakeholders in the prevention of violence against women and girls. Every day and in many countries, we work on behalf of these women and girls whether or not they belong to unions. It is their right to live and work in a safe and secure environment.”
Trade union delegates to the Commission on the Status of Women meetings between March 4 and 15 are reporting on their experience on the blog unioncsw.world-psi.org and using the Twitter hashtag #CSW57.