Congressional Briefing: Preventing Gender-Based Violence in the Workplace


Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 9:00am to 10:30am


Cannon House Office Building, Room 122
Washington, DC

Presented by the ILRF, AFL-CIO, Futures Without Violence & Solidarity Center
In coordination with Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Marcy Kaptur, Mark Pocan, and Jackie Speier

Gender-based violence is a global epidemic. There is evidence that 40-50% of women in industrialized countries experience unwanted sexual advances, harassment, or physical contact at work – a statistic that is likely worse in developing countries where violence often goes unreported.

In 2018, governments, businesses, and trade unions will meet at the International Labour Organization to decide whether to negotiate a binding international convention on Violence Against Women and Men in the World of Work. If approved, the convention would be a critical tool in the fight to end gender-based violence. It would provide guidance and best practices for legislators, employers and unions to identify, remedy and prevent both sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace and the impacts of intimate partner violence on a person’s working life. This would be the first international standard to address this critical issue, and would inform the struggle for gender equality and worker rights here in the United States and around the world.

This briefing will feature testimony from women organizers who are fighting to eradicate gender-based violence domestically, in the garment sector in Bangladesh, and in agricultural supply chains in Honduras.

Moderator: Judy Gearhart, Executive Director, International Labor Rights Forum


  • Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
  • Iris Munguía, Secretary for Women’s Affairs, Federación de Sindicatos de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria (FESTAGRO- Federation of Farmworker Unions) and Herminia Carranza, STAS – Sindicato Trabajadores de la Agroindustria y Similares, Honduras
  • Kalpona Akter, Executive Director, Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity
  • Cassandra Waters, Global Worker Rights Specialist, AFL-CIO International Department

RSVP appreciated to Sarah Newell at sarah [at] or Cassandra Varanka at Cassandra.Varanka [at]