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WGL to convene global dialogue on ending gender-based discrimination and violence in the world of work

New York City [28 February 2020]: The Center for Women’s Global Leadership (WGL) will convene the Global Dialogue on Ending Gender-Based Discrimination and Violence in the world of work on the margins of the annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2020.

The event will bring together key influencers to witness testimonies from women workers and hear from government representatives, employers, unions, civil society organizations, and human rights experts from different regions of the world on GBV faced by women in the world of work.

The event is hosted in partnership with the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) along with the support of 14 co-sponsors, which includes leading human rights, feminist and labor rights organizations from around the world.

“This Global Dialogue is historical in that it is the first event to devote a specific focus on the experiences of women in the context of the International Labour Organization Convention 190 which addresses violence and harassment in the world of work,” said Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director of WGL.

The event will be held at the Millennium Hotel in New York City on March 11, 2020.

The Dialogue will shed light on why it is important for governments to ratify the new convention, as a crucial step toward securing  gender equality, and ensure that national implementation takes into account the diverse realities of women’s lives. The new ILO Convention requires governments and employers to recognize the impact of domestic violence in the world of work which will be examined at the Dialogue through women’s experiences and promising practices. Women workers from a variety of sectors, formal and informal, feminized sectors and others where they are routinely exposed to and forced to endure discrimination, GBV and harassment will participate.

“The Dialogue will highlight the need for a dignified, inclusive and human rights-based approach to implementation of the new instrument, starting with its speedy ratification,” said Melissa Upreti, human rights lawyer and Director of Programs for WGL. She said: “Women worldwide are over-represented in low-income, part-time, informal and precarious jobs and systematically disadvantaged in the world of work due to discriminatory social norms, inadequate legal protection, the unrecognized burden of unpaid care and domestic work, and macro-economic policies that fail to respond to their specific realities and needs as women. The Global Dialogue will bring into focus how gender-based discrimination and violence undermine women’s participation in the world of work and the solutions that are needed.”

WGL notes that research conducted by human rights organizations over the years confirms that, millions of female workers worldwide are forced to work in an intimidating, hostile, or humiliating environments. Some women are even more vulnerable to discrimination and violence based on their identity, ability or the kind of work that they do.

“The facts call for an urgent need for greater legal and political accountability and a shift in economic policy that currently limit women’s opportunities and fuel indecent work conditions,” said Dharmaraj.

The Co-sponsors for the event include ESCR-Net, Public Services International (PSI), ActionAid InternationalBreakthrough IndiaCare InternationalAkina Mama wa Afrika, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), Women Enabled InternationalAmnesty InternationalHuman Rights WatchSolidarity Center, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific).

WGL bridges voices and transcends borders for human rights, thereby addressing inequality, discrimination and violence.