Why do we need an ILO Convention? Because women have the right to feel safe at work. Yes. Because violence shouldn’t be part of the job. Agreed. But, how exactly are women unsafe at work and what does violence actually look like in transport workplaces?
As highlighted in the 2013 ITF action guide on violence against women, women railway workers in Zimbabwe are forced to have sex with their managers in exchange for being put on the day rota. Women transport workers in Uganda are at a higher risk of HIV infection because of the sexual violence they experience. A Bulgarian study found widespread sexual harassment for women transport unions. An ILO sectoral factsheet from 2003 states that women road transport workers in Latin America often face sexual coercion from employers and those who refuse are forced to work unsociable hours or far from home. The factsheet also reports rape of women transport workers to be common in many countries including South Africa and Mexico.
We want to build an up-to-date global picture of what is happening by country and by sector. Women activists, we need you! Show your support for women transport workers by sharing specific types of violence that happen in your country and sector and help to build the picture of what violence looks like across the world for women in the transport industry. Read our next blog post to find out more on exactly how you can do this.
We want to give all women, activists and workers, the opportunity to share what is really happening in transport workplaces and we are working to provide a way for workers to share their personal stories anonymously online. Follow our blog for further updates on this.
Listen to this short interview with Jodi Evans, the ITF Women Transport Workers Equality Officer, speaking to Radio Labour in more detail about why this international protection standard really matters to the lives of women transport workers everywhere.