Wednesday, November 25, 2009

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today, as the global community commemorates the United Nations
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
, the
AFL-CIO joins trade unionists from every nation in calling for renewed
efforts to combat gender-based violence.

Violence against women is a global problem that affects women of all
ages, ethnicities, races, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds.
It is also a workplace issue. Unequal treatment of women in workplaces
and the unsafe employment conditions of many women increase their risk
of being victims of sexual harassment, abuse and rape. At the same
time, domestic violence often impedes the ability of women to go to
work and earn a living to support their families. To meet their
families’ needs, many women have been forced to leave their home
regions in search of work elsewhere, often thereby becoming vulnerable
to exploitation by unscrupulous employers.

The AFL-CIO recognizes this dynamic in its Charter of Rights of Working
, issued in a statement by the AFL-CIO Executive Council on March
5, 2009. It states: “Although [women around the world] speak different
languages, they share the vision of a world founded on respect, peace,
equality and solidarity, and without violence, harassment and
discrimination. For all women, especially for the millions who work in
insecure, temporary, unsafe, underpaid and unpaid jobs, this vision
lies far beyond the truth of their daily lives.”

Employers must be held responsible for ensuring that women have safe
workplaces free of all forms of violence and sexual harassment.
Bringing an end to violence and discrimination against women will have
a positive impact on our families, our economies, our nations and our

Statement from AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler
November 25, 2009

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