24 February 2020 08:07


To mark the 2020 International Women’s Day, the BWI is calling on its affiliates and partners to campaign on the theme of “Stand Together: Ratify ILO C190”. Let this also be an occasion to celebrate the success of the long struggle of the global trade union movement for the adoption of ILO Convention 190, “Violence and Harassment Convention”, at last year’s International Labour Conference which marked the ILO Centenary.

ILO C190 defines what ‘Violence and Harassment’ is by pointing out the disproportionate violence faced by women at their workplaces based on gender. The convention includes violence and harassment against all workers irrespective of sector in private, public, rural, urban, formal, and informal participation in the “World of Work” by substantiating that its’ scope is beyond the workspace. It takes into account the violence at home, cyber-space, work trips, etc. which are dangers largely faced by women. It also goes beyond the employment relationship to cover violence and harassment from third parties, including clients, customers and members of the public.

ILO C190 is also an important tool for BWI trade unions in the campaign against gender-based violence that often includes domestic violence. It takes into consideration and addresses a range of factors, including environments of patriarchy, discrimination and power asymmetry at the workplace. They affect the health and safety of women; even though they are not yet recognized in national legislation.

The BWI, along with the rest of the global trade union movement, actively campaigned for the adoption of ILO C190 and now we must work towards ratification of this important convention. Experience shows that successful ratification campaigns, which make Conventions strong, depend on early success, which then stimulates further support and action by governments.

The BWI urges all its affiliates to actively campaign for the ratification by national governments. Like all ILO Conventions, C190 will only come into force twelve months after two member states have registered their ratification with the ILO Director-General. So far, only Uruguay has ratified ILO C190. If it is to enter into force and receive a high level of ratifications, action is urgent.

As we chant ‘Stand Together: Ratify C190’ on 8 March, let us also kick-start the Campaign towards the ratification of ILO C190 in our respective countries through action.

In particular, BWI calls on its affiliates to do the following:

  • Send interviews (written) and videos highlighting women’s stories (Herstory) of the campaign to ratify ILO C190 so that it can be posted on the BWI website and social media platforms.

  • Engage your government to enter into the process of adoption of ILO C190.

  • Organize workshops, trainings, press conferences and events at the work site regarding the important tool of ILO C190 to stop violence and harassment against all workers and, in particular, women workers.

  • Take photos with the BWI IWD posters and share it via social media.

  • Use the BWI 2020 IWD poster as a template to create your own poster.

BWI 2020 IWD posters are available in English, French, and Spanish.