On the occasion of International Women's Day on Monday, three union federations called on the government to ratify the International Labour Organisation's C190 - Violence and Harassment Convention in order to improve protection of women workers against harassment and sexual violence.
Head of the women’s section of the Alliance of Independent Unions of Croatia (SSSH), Emina Ibrahimi, told reporters in St. Mark’s Square that through daily contact with women in trade unions, she had learned of numerous cases of harassment, abuse, and discrimination against women in the workplace.
“That is confirmed by the fact that in as many as 66.7% of cases, discrimination against women is gender-based. It is the government’s responsibility to do everything to protect women workers against harassment and violence. Convention 190 serves to prevent various forms of discrimination in the workplace,” she said.
Ivana Sepak-Robic of the Federation of Croatian Unions said that union federations have been appealing to the government for the past year and a half to launch procedures to ratify the convention.
“This a convention against harassment and violence in the workplace and refers to all workers, all sectors and all jobs, and also to volunteers and jobseekers. That is why it is important that the convention is ratified as soon as possible,” she said.
She claimed that the government has found an alibi for its inaction by saying it is waiting for a decision by the EU Council.
On the other hand, Italy has already ratified the convention without the EU Council, and Finland and Spain have expressed their intention to ratify it, she added.
Work from home blurs distinction between domestic violence and violence in the workplace
Marina Ivandic from the Women’s Committee of the Independent Croatian Unions warned of the increase in domestic violence and in the workplace in the past year since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
“Working from home has also contributed to the fact that violence has not decreased but instead has created a blur between domestic violence and violence in the workplace,” said Ivandic.
It is important to create jobs that provide support to people experiencing violence and not condemn them, and unionists pushed for the adoption of measures and protocols for the purpose of prevention, monitoring and sanctioning violence.