Unions launch “Safe at Home, Safe at Work” campaign

BWI’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACR) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES-Germany) on 30 September launched the “Safe at Home, Safe at Work” campaign to promote awareness on violence against women and amplify calls for the ratification of ILO Convention 190. The launch event was attended by 30 trade union leaders (men and women) from Curaçao, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and Chile, as well as women trade union leaders from the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Guatemala.

The campaign, which focused on gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide, is a response to the increasing number of cases on violence against women amidst a pandemic in Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico and Curaçao. It aims to organise 3 training sessions on gender and digital activism to capacitate participating trade unions leading to BWI’s 16 Days of Activism on Violence against Women on November 2020. 

BWI-LACR Regional Women's Committee President and FENTICOMMC (Dominican Republic) Representative Fabiana Santos presented the recently-approved RWC work plan, which will focus on campaigning against GBV in the region’s different countries.

“The trade union movement must intensify its campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 190. Together with collective actions and capacity-building activities, we believe the convention will help us in systematically addressing violence against women, Santos said.

María Alexandra Arguedas, gender expert and project consultant, agreed. “Living a life free of violence is a human right. However, this requires the creation and implementation of comprehensive state policies. Sadly, the Latin America and Caribbean region has a big gap between the number of GBV cases reported and the actions taken by governments.” 

According to the UN Women, there are 25 countries with the highest rates of GBV in the world. Latin America has 14 countries on that list, which corresponds to 56 percent of the countries that most report femicides and different kinds of violence against women inside and outside the workplace. 

BWI LACR Regional Representative Nilton Freitas said that their campaign hopes to create momentum in continuing discussing GBV among workers and create spaces and opportunities to address the issue from a clear trade union perspective. “Our social commitment as trade unionists and citizens compel us to ensure the human and labour rights of men and women alike,” Freitas said.