Violence Against Women
call for the protection of those vulnerable to violence
Associated Labor Unions
December 20, 2020
QUEZON CITY – The
Associated Labor Unions (ALU) and global unions Building and Wood
Workers International (BWI), and IndustriALL, are calling for the
protection of workers and other persons in situations of
vulnerability from gender-based violence perpetuated or condoned by
individuals, institutions and the State, especially in the midst of
pandemic Christmas season.
ALU National Executive
Vice President Gerard Seno urged the government, employers, and
communities to tighten their measures to address violence and
harassment against frontliners, jobseekers and applicants, those in
contractual arrangement, probationary period, night work, domestic
work, women with disabilities, and in poverty.
On December 20, on the
occasion of the anniversary of the 1993 adoption of the United
Nations’ Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women,
ALU National Vice President and Women’s Committee Chair Eva Arcos
continued to value its pioneering explicitness from which
governments are obligated to act and from which many national and
international instruments and programs addressing gender-based
violence were built.
Arcos, however said that,
27 years and ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment (2019)
after, the Philippines has gotten worse in terms of bridging the gap
between law and practice, and in delivering justice to victims who
died or survived from gender-based violence, and in protecting
witnesses, whistleblowers and defenders.
Arcos reminds full
compliance to existing women-specific laws and international
instruments which the Philippines signed or ratified. Swift actions
are needed for victims of gender-based violence to include right to
remove themselves from an unsafe work situation, protection from
retaliation, 10-day paid leave, employment facilitation, access to
financial assistance or low-interest credit facility, equal access
to justice mechanism, free legal assistance, establishment of more
shelters in the country, and counseling services.
Seno pressed for the
necessity of having gender-sensitive public officials and officers
of the law, of enforcing penalties, and complying with the mandatory
psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment for offenders.
Health and safety risk,
flexible work arrangements, joblessness, reduced income, work from
home, home-schooling, childcare, difficulties in reporting and
limited access to essential services are aggravating circumstances
to cases of violence and harassment that jeopardize not only women’s
health and safety, but also their capability to access, remain, and
advance in the labor market.
The labor unions pointed
out that aside from the need to update and publicly circulate
database on gender-based violence and harassment, the government, in
consultations with stakeholders, should conduct regular research on
the effectiveness of measures being undertaken to prevent and
redress violence against women.
The labor unions have been
campaigning for the Philippine government’s ratification of
UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women was
adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. It covers
physical, sexual and psychological violence as well as violence both
at home and elsewhere in society.
*Convention 190 – Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No.190)
recognizes the right of everyone to a world of work free from
violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and
harassment and acknowledges that violence and harassment also
affects the quality of public and private services, and may prevent
persons, particularly women, from accessing, and remaining and
advancing in the labor market.