Ending gender-based violence is a central part of ETUCE’s work, and a priority for Education International (EI), who has issued a call to action to all member organisations, encouraging them lobby their governments for support for a binding ILO Standard on Violence and Harassment against Women and Men in the World of Work. Member organisations represent key actors in tackling gender-based violence in and around schools and other education settlings, and are an important force for protection and change.

According to the online survey of the ETUCE project ‘Promoting gender equality within teacher unions and in the teaching profession in Austerity’, gender-based violence in Europe has increased during the economic crisis due to austerity measures causing the economic and social pressure on people. Although both women and men can be targets of gender-based violence, economic dependence and sexist stereotypes make women more vulnerable and contribute to gender inequality and violence.

Trade unions have a decisive role in tackling violence against women at work, at home and at school. On November 24-25, to mark the International Day against Violence against Women, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) presents its new study ‘Safe at Home-Safe at Work’ at the conference in Madrid. The study shows how trade unions in Europe address violence against women at work through collective agreements with employers at national, sectoral and company level, and how battling gender-based violence at the workplace can help to prevent violence against women at home. For example, the European Framework Agreement on Violence and Harassment at Work, singed in 2007 between the European trade union and employer’s organisations, led to many other European-wide agreements in different public and private sectors, including the education.

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), the Council of Europe has launched a public interest initiative ‘End Violence Against Women.’ The campaign seeks to draw the attention of decision-makers and the public to such issues as sexual violence, forced marriage, honour killing, and female genital mutilation. The dedicated website provides insights into the Istanbul Convention and various means to end the violence against women.