News Releases

Murray amendment calls on ILO to help empower working women worldwide by confronting critical human rights violations

(Washington, D.C.) -- Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced an amendment to the trade and worker assistance bill, which would add promoting the adoption of international standards to prevent gender-based violence in the workplace as a negotiating objective of the legislation. Murray also urged the International Labor Organization (ILO) to take up a proposed Convention on gender-based violence, which would guide governments and businesses in formulating laws and policies to prevent gender-based violence at work, at its annual meeting this fall.

“No worker should have to worry about violence or abuse in their workplace, but unfortunately, far too many women worldwide face these unacceptable threats every day in order to support themselves and their families,” said Senator Murray. “I’m calling for international standards to help prevent gender-based violence at work because, as we work to break down barriers to equality in the workplace and help women gain economic security, ending this widespread human rights violation must be a top priority.”

Although gender-based violence is widely unreported and undocumented, it is estimated that 35 percent of women have experienced violence worldwide. In the European Union, where reporting is more robust, between 40 and 50 percent have experienced unwanted sexual advances, physical contact, or other forms of harassment at work. The ILO has identified gender-based violence as “the most prevalent human rights violation in the world” and a “critical and major global challenge to the goal of equality between women and men.”