El video recientemente publicado del Centro de Solidaridad sobre la violencia de género en el trabajo ahora está disponible en español.
El video de dos minutos explica las formas de violencia de género en el trabajo, que incluyen el bullying, el abuso verbal y el acoso de cualquier tipo, el desequilibrio sistémico de género entre los empleadores y las trabajadores que permite a los empleadores quedar impunes ante las condiciones de trabajo inseguras y otros abusos de las trabajadores.
Las trabajadores, empleadores y funcionarios públicos actualmente están debatiendo una propuesta de convenio (regulación) de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) que abordaría la violencia y el acoso en el trabajo, y el video termina con un llamado a la acción para unirse a la campaña.
¡Obtenga más información sobre la campaña para detener la violencia de género en el trabajo!
¡Comparta el video del Centro de Solidaridad sobre la violencia de género en el trabajo!
¡Únase a la campaña de la CSI para poner fin a la violencia de género en el trabajo!
Informe de la OIT, Acabar con la violencia en el mundo del trabajo, marzo de 2018
Kit de herramientas de la CSI para Acabar con la violencia de género en el trabajo
Hoja informativa: Trabajadoras en la agroindustria.
Informe: Desafiando el poder corporativo: las luchas por los derechos de las mujeres, la justicia económica y de género
As a young woman working in her company’s IT department, Jayne Muthoni Njoki was frustrated by what she says were employer attempts to push her around because of her youth and sex. But rather than quit her job, which she contemplated, she ran for a leadership position in her union, determined to work with others to make change on the job—and in society.
“I needed to fight for people whose voice can’t be heard,” she says.
Now 31, Njoki is the only young person in elected leadership in the Central Organization of Trade Unions–Kenya (COTU-Kenya), a Solidarity Center partner, and also president of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)-Africa Young Workers Committee.
Njoki discussed how she is working through unions in Kenya and around Africa to educate and train young workers, especially young women, this week on the Working Life podcast, hosted by Jonathan Tasini (Njoki’s interview starts at 30:02).
Many Young Workers Work in Jobs that Don’t Pay Enough to Get by
With 71 million young people around the world unable to secure employment and 156 million more working poor because they have unstable income in the informal economy, the lack of jobs that pay living wages “is a global issue,” she says.
“We need to now think of the informal sector. When I talk of informal economy, that’s where you see the majority of young people are based.
“But unfortunately, we don’t think the informal sector is part of the economy.” Enabling informal-economy workers to have a voice through unions and associations is key to advancing their rights as workers—and once the informal economy is organized, “then everything will fall into place,” she says.
Through COTU-Kenya, which she says has encouraged young workers and women to become union leaders, Njoki also is working to create awareness among domestic workers about their rights and advance their efforts to become union leaders. Many are sexually harassed and assaulted, and fearful of speaking out about their treatment, she says.
Women workers and even women leaders “can’t come out because they are afraid, they are threatened. It’s not easy to come out and say ‘this is my right [to not experience gender-based violence on the job]’ as a young person, as a young lady.”
As she takes on the challenges facing young workers, Njoki is optimistic about the future. “So many ladies, even young people and young men, they are ready to listen and they are ready to work together so we can drive the agenda together.”
Workers around the world are losing ground in their paychecks as annual growth in real wages around the world fell to 1.7 percent in 2015, down from 2.5 percent in 2012, according to a new International Labor Organization (ILO) report.
Among developing countries—including China, India, Brazil, Nigeria and many other rapidly growing economies—real wage growth in 2012 was around 6.6 percent, but by 2015 it had fallen to just 2.5 percent. Growth in developing countries had fueled economic recovery after the 2008 recession.
Meanwhile, wages in developed countries rose between 2012 and 2015—from 0.2 percent in the wake of the financial crisis, to a 10-year high of 1.7 percent. This uptick does not compensate for slowing wage growth in developing countries, yielding a net decrease worldwide.
To create sustainable wage growth, the ILO calls on countries to enact policy reforms that will benefit working people, such as raising minimum wages and increasing workers’ access to collective bargaining, particularly in global supply chains. The ILO also calls for coordination at the global level to boost wages, reduce inequality and protect working people’s right to freedom of association.
Productivity Outpaces Wages, Workers Miss Out
In the majority of countries, “wage growth in recent decades has lagged behind the growth of labor productivity,” according to the report. This means that even as major economic sectors like agriculture and construction have become more prosperous, workers are getting a smaller and smaller share of that prosperity.
The ILO attributes this divide to the weakening of labor market institutions and pressure from financial markets to direct company profits toward investors rather than workers. As a result, the ILO report says stagnating wages in developing countries are part of a slow but steady decline in working people’s share of wealth in the global economy.
Women have been especially hard hit, earning between 10 percent and 40 percent less than men in hourly wages in many countries. In Azerbaijan and Benin, the gender gap was the highest at nearly 45 percent. Many women work in low-paid, precarious jobs and although they contribute 66 percent of the world’s work, they earn 10 percent of income.
Crucially, the report highlights the frequent correlation between greater wage inequality, greater household income inequality and the declining number of jobs.
Violence against women takes many forms, and can happen in the home, in public spaces—and on the job. At the workplace, 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced violence.
This November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, unions around the world are calling for the International Labor Organization (ILO) to pass an global convention on gender-based violence at the workplace. As the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) points out, “anyone can be a victim of violence at work, but gender-based violence typifies unequal economic and social power relations between women and men.”
Union leaders and allies are re-submitting a proposal to the ILO Governing Body requiring the ILO to develop an international standard to guide governments and businesses in formulating strong laws and policies to prevent and remedy gender-based violence at work. The ILO Governing Body adjourned this month without considering a similar proposal, and will meet again in March 2015. (You can take action through the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s “End workplace violence against women” campaign.)
This fall, workers in the Middle East and North Africa waged rallies and sit-ins to highlight the issue. The General Federation of Iraq Trade Unions (GFITU) organized a solidarity gathering in late October at Al Qushla Square in Baghdad. Hashmeyya Al Sa’adawi,IndustriALL executive board member and president of the electricity union in Basrah, read the statement of the Arab unionist women network, which expressed concern over increased violence against women.
“We believe that the violence against women issue is a crucial matter that requires immediate action,” she stated
In Morocco, the Democratic Labor Confederation (Confédération Démocratique du Travaille, CDT), organized a sit-in outside Parliament to raise awareness about gender-based violence in the workplace and request support for the convention (watch a video clip of the event).
The Jordanian Federation of the Independent Trade Unions sent a letter to the country’s chambers of commerce and industry and Jordanian government officials urging their support for passage of the gender-based violence standards in the ILO Administration Council.
Women disproportionately work in precarious, low-income and informal economy jobs, where there are few mechanisms to prevent violence and exploitation. Women also are the majority in occupations where workers are more likely to be exposed to violence, such as domestic work and health care, the garment and textile industries and in agriculture. Many women do not report physical, psychological or sexual violence fearing they will be fired or because of cultural norms.
An ILO Convention would further acknowledge that violence against women is a human rights violation, and would be an important step to improving women’s working conditions worldwide and saving the millions of dollars spent every year on health care, lower productivity and sick leave because of violence against women,
Up to 80 percent of workers across Africa labor in the informal economy, many as street vendors, taxi drivers and domestic workers. With few legal rights, most informal-sector workers make low wages and have no health care or other social protections.
Because women comprise the vast majority of workers in the informal economy, they are integral to improving wages and working conditions for all informal workers. Indeed, says Caroline Mugalla, executive secretary of the East Africa Trade Union Confederation (EATUC): “The key to development in Africa is empowering women.”
Mugalla traveled to Washington, D.C., in August, where she and nearly 40 African trade union leaders met to ensure participants in the high-level U.S.-Africa Summit included “decent work” on their agenda. Although “Africa rising” has become a popular catchphrase for the continent’s economic momentum, only the top 1 percent are benefiting. Most Africans are unable to secure decent work—which includes good wages, safe working conditions and the freedom to form unions and collectively bargain.
For many unions, the first step to empowering women workers is addressing their own power structures, a process Mugalla led for several years within the EATUC, a regional confederation that includes labor federations in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar. EATUC’s constitution was “silent on the issue of gender,” Mugalla said, so in 2009, she and others began drafting language to ensure gender equality became a key part of it.
Over the next three years, union leaders hosted regional committee meetings with women to hear their concerns and develop recommendations for the EATUC governing body. The International Labor Organization (ILO) and Solidarity Center held leadership trainings for women and assisted union leaders in crafting new language for the constitution. The union women also held the all-male general secretaries accountable for approving it, says Mugalla.
Now with passage of the new constitution, Mugalla says “women need to be trained at the shop floor so they can become leaders—stewards, regional officers, national officers.”
In reaching out to workers in the informal economy, unions in East Africa provide an opportunity for women to share in the region’s prosperity. Tanzania unions have organized female street vendors who sell beads, sandals, wood carvings and other crafts, providing them with valuable information on the market price for their goods. “Women make up the majority in East Africa, make up the majority of people living below the poverty line,” says Mugalla. “A woman who is economically empowered can made decisions on her own.”
As a collective trade union voice in East Africa, EATUC is pressing for strong worker protections in trade agreements such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA, which gives eligible sub-Saharan countries duty-free access to the U.S. market for a variety of products, is up for re-authorization in 2015. In the 15 years AGOA has been in effect, it has increased exports from sub-Saharan Africa, but by focusing mostly on tariff reductions, it has not spurred broader development or fostered a robust and equitable economic system, Mugalla says.
AGOA covers products made in the textile sector, which is nearly entirely composed of women workers. The EATUC is working to ensure AGOA and other such agreements do not increase the number of low-skilled jobs but provide women and young workers “employment that gives them the opportunity to access social services, job security,” says Mugalla.
Empowering women economically, fundamental to advancing progress across Africa, can only happen when gender equality is recognized across the board. Or as Mugalla says:
“The day that gender becomes a man’s issue is the day we have made a lot of progress.”
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