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Special Edition: How to leverage the United Nations Women Empowerment Principles in support of 16 Days of Activism and beyond

[Johannesburg, 22 November 2021] The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence, is a worldwide call for the elimination of violence against women and children. It is run annually from November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day). In support of Businesses ensuring the safety of women and children, the GCNSA is hosting a Compact Dialogue on Thursday, 25 November to raise awareness and highlight the role Business must play.

In this Compact Brief we state the CALL to ACTION to Business based on the UN Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

As we spotlight the scourge of GBV, we focus on WEPs 3: Employee Health, Well-Being and Safety. This Principle highlights the role of employers in preserving and promoting the physical and emotional health, safety and wellbeing of their women and men employees.

The Call to Action for Business is clear:

  • Establish internal policies and procedures preventing all forms of violence and sexual harassment at work.
  • Ensure all employees’ equal access to health insurance, including part-time workers and to support services for survivors of violence and harassment.
  • Respect women and men workers’ rights to time off for medical care and counselling for themselves and their dependents.
  • Provide safe working conditions and protection from exposure to hazardous materials and disclose potential risks, including to reproductive health.
  • Address safety and security issues, including traveling to/from work and business trips, and train security staff and managers to recognize signs of violence against women, human trafficking, labour and sexual exploitation.

Additionally, using the WEPs Gender Gap Analysis tool, a business-driven tool designed to help companies from around the world, assess gender equality performance, is a great way for corporates to assess their strengths and weaknesses across their gender equality efforts.

And finally, for a holistic look at empowering women across the Business, join the UN Global Compact Target Gender Equality Programme, an accelerator programme calling for bold action in setting and reaching ambitious corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership.

 

For more information, please contact:

Nichole Solomons

Email: nicholes@globalcompactsa.org.za