AS we observe the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, the Women’s Council of the National Workers Union (NWU) is adding its voice to the awareness drive to help “paint the world orange.”
This global campaign, which commenced on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and culminates on December 10, Human Rights Day, is a demonstration of the significance of eliminating this plaguing societal malady.
Violence against women is widespread and manifests in many ways.
As an organization, the NWU Women’s Council will not only contribute to raising the awareness of the severity of this harsh reality but will further work towards offering solutions to its complete obliteration.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 35 per cent of women globally – 818 million women – over the age of 15 have experienced sexual or physical violence at home, in their communities, or in the workplace.
Our Council, launched 14th, September 2017, is at its teething stage. However, we are committed to taking action to prevent this violation of human rights, through measures that include education campaigns with our membership and provisions in collective bargaining agreements to protect women from violence.
In the employment context, violence against women has proven to be an obstacle to gender equality.
Sexual violence and harassment remain a barrier for women to enter and grow in the work force, or even to perform certain jobs.
The continued segregation of women in unjustified. Lower paid, lower status jobs and positions, exacerbate the dilemma for the female worker.
Over the coming years the NWU Women’s Council, commencing with this campaign period, pledges to achieve as part of its objectives, the prevention and elimination of violence against women in the workplace.Unions play a pivotal role in raising awareness about sexual harassment among their members.
We recognize that the onus is on unions to negotiate policies and agreements that establish procedures for reporting and processing complaints for the prevention of sexual harassment and or any type of gender based abuse in the workplace.
We appeal to victims of any type of gender base violence to seek help; if it is work related and you cannot find an agency to help, reach out to your Shop Steward to assist.
Violence affects all of us. It requires action and education to end it.
Kimani Pompelis ,,
National Workers Union Women’s Council