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#16Days of Activism 2021: Trade unions in Asia-Pacific vs GBV

During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, trade unions in Asia-Pacific bring their voices together to amplify the calls to eliminate violence and harassment in the workplace and to ratify the ILO Convention 190.


Here are some of the trade union-led activities that took place across the region:


Bangladesh

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a consultation meeting on ILO Convention 190 was organised by the Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) on 24 November 2021 in the Port City, Chittagong. Afterwards, a rally was conducted and participated by 97 women and men workers from the garments and transport sectors. The activities were organised to raise awareness on the importance of ILO Convention 190 and to campaign for its ratification.






Israel

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Na'amat, the Histadrut's women's movement, held the Annual Conference for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in the "Ayanot-Na'amat" youth village on 21 November 2021. The Conference dealt with the dire consequences of spousal violence on children growing up in a toxic environment and experiencing lifelong trauma.


In addition, Na'amat produced a series of video clips titled "Violence against women = harm to children " in which the Chairperson of Na'amat and prominent actors and actresses participated.

Na'amat also held a touching ceremony for the second year in a row, "Planted in the Heart", in the KKL-JNF forest in Mevo Modi'im, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The ceremony, in memory of the victims of violence and in honor of the survivors, was initiated by the Jewish National Fund, the JNF Workers' Organization headed by Israel Goldstein, and Na'amat, in cooperation with the women's organizations WIZO and Emunah.


At the ceremony, JNF Chairman Avraham Duvdevani, Chairman of the JNF Workers' Organization Israel Goldstein, Chairman and Chairpersons of other workers' organizations and the Chairpersons of the women's organizations Na'amat, WIZO and Emunah, signed a convention of solidarity and commitment to the fight against violence against women.


During the ceremony, Ms. Liron Dror took the stage and shared her painful story, as a survivor of violence who lost her baby daughter Goni of blessed memory, who was murdered by the father.


Turkey



The Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TURK-IS) organised a seminar on 25 November to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Subtitled "Women in Working Life during the Pandemic”, the seminar served as a training activity for women unionists and members. Union leaders of TURK-IS affiliates, which included representatives of Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) affiliates, YOL-IS President Ramazan Agar and AGAC-IS President Mursel Tasci, and Handan Kalkan, member of ITUC Asia-Pacific Women's Committee, member of BWI European Women's Committee and women representative of TURK-IS, and YOL-IS Women Committee Chair, along with other women representatives attended the seminar.

The seminar underlined the problem of violence against women in Turkey and called for immediate actions to stop the violence. The speeches of women unionists emphasised the importance of organising of women workers, their active participation in the struggle for labour rights as well as the rights and freedom of women was emphasised in the speeches of women unionists. Meanwhile, other speakers discussed and emphasised the ongoing negotiations for national minimum wage and the need to increase union density and union membership.