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Thursday, March 18 • 11:30 - 13:00
Eliminating Gender-based Violence and Harassment: ILO 190

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Session organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Key objectives of the session:
  • To raise awareness on the ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment, 2019 (No. 190) and Recommendation on Violence and Harassmnet, 2019 (No. 206) among the leaders of the business community, government, workers’ orgnziations and other relevant organizations
  • To take stock of the key challenges, opportunities and progress made in South Asia in preventing and addressing violence and harassment including gender-based violence in the world of work
  • To identify key areas of action per country as well as at the sub-regional level to be taken to strengthen action against violence and harassment in the world of work
  • To discuss what laws and guidelines may be necessary to protect all, especially women from violence and harassment in businesses as well as in the home – especially where the home is also a place of work;
  • To discuss how tripartite action and social dialogue can contribute to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work

Key questions:
  1. What are some key challenges in preventing and responding to violence and harassment in the word of work within the current set-up, in terms of the policy/legal framework, enterprise level policy and practices, and general enviornemnt (especially considering the situation of informal economy workers)?
  2. What have been practices that key stakeholders (businesses, govenrmnet, workers’ organizations, and others) undertook so far to successfully address the issues of violence and harassment in the world of work?
  3. Considering the progress made so far in addressing violence and harassment in the world of work up to now, what are the key next steps that each stakeholder can in short, medium and long-term to improve the situation towards the world of work free from violence and harassment?
  4. How can advocacy help in reducing gender based violence and harassment?
  5. What is the role on the UN system in helping with the elimination of gender based violence and harassment?
  6. What is the role of the ILO C190?

Background to the discussion:
Despite encouraging progress made so far in South Asia region, especially in improving the policy and legal framework to address violence and harassment, particularly sexual harassment in the world of work, there continues to be significant challenges in realizing a world of work free from violence and harassment for all. Due to the presence of strong patriarchal culture and prevailing social norms that do not resonate with the principle of gender equality in South Asia, women continue to be disproportionally affected by violence and harassment, particularly gender-based violence and harassment which incldes sexual harassment. Those who suffer from sexual harassment generally do not disclose their experience due to the fear of negative consequences such as losing their job and being blamed for becoming the target of sexual harassment. Because of this, most cases of violence and harassment particularly sexual harassment remain invisible to the eyes of the managers and colleagues in the world of work and sexual harassment is often dismissed as “not a problem in my organization”.

Violence and harassment including gender-based violence and harassment negatively affects the individuals’ well-being, producitivty as well as the producitivy of the enterprise as a whole. It can also harm the reputation of the enterprise if the enterprise do not take necessary measures to prevent and address violence and harassment. Therefore, it is critical that all stakeholders take more active steps in preventing and addressing violence and harassment in the world of work for all. And as all stakeholders discuss and take action to better prevent and address violence and harassment in the world of work, it is important to apply the gender-responsive, and integrated and inclusive approach to realize that everyone, whether they are in the formal or informal economy, work in rural or urban areas, or work in public or private sectors, enjoye the world of work free from violence and harassment.

Gender-based discrimination and violence remain rampant in the region and increasing cases of discrimination and gender-based violence have been reported during the lockdown because of COVID-19 in many countries.
Given the multitude of human rights challenges and gender based violence and harassment in the region, it is important that the issue be addressed thoroughly by different levels of operators such as governments and businesses as they go about discussing and implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) in South Asia. It is important that all relevant groups work to prevent, mitigate, remediate, and eliminate gender based violence and harassment. The ILO Convention, C190 provides clear guidance in this respect. C190 also recognizes the negative impacts of domestic violence in the world of work and calls for action to mitigate negative impacts.




Moderators
SM

Shikha Mittal

Founder and Director, Be.artsy

Speakers
avatar for Anna lee Fos Tuvera

Anna lee Fos Tuvera

Director, Gender Equality Activities, ITUC-Asia Pacific
RH

Rubana Huq

President of Bangladesh Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and Managing Director of Mohammadi Group Bangladesh
BA

Boa Athu

Director, NUSS Asia and Pacific
AM

Aya Matsuura

Technical Expert, ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia
EG

Elena Gerasimova

International Labour Standards Specialist, ILO Pacific
avatar for Shahida Mariyam Mohamed

Shahida Mariyam Mohamed

Vice President and Permanent Representative Geneva, Switzerland, National Federation of Maldivian Employers (NFME)
Dr. Mariyam Shahida Mohamed began her career in the field of education and then progressed into Education Leadership and Policies for Decent Work. She is passionate about egalitarianism and continues her assertive advocacy in Social Justice globally. Her experience spans the private... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 11:30 - 13:00 IST
Room A