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Equality in the Workplace : Zero Tolerance on Gender-Based Discrimination and Harassment in Europe

6 mars - Bruxelles

Date de mise en ligne : [02-02-2012]

6 mars, Bruxelles

Présentation :

Equality between women and men is one of the fundamental principles of Community law and, furthermore, harassment is mentioned in the national legislation of seventeen European countries. The European Union’s objectives on gender equality are to ensure equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women and to combat any form of harassment and discrimination on the grounds of gender.

Gender-based discrimination is prominent in many workplaces with sexual harassment, in particular, manifesting itself in different forms ; it is always one-sided and unwelcome for the victim. A single incident can constitute sexual harassment, although it often consists of repeated unwelcome and imposed actions. Moreover, such abuse can take the form of psychological intimidation, threats or physical violence. Gender-based harassment and violence both reflects and reinforces inequalities between women and men.

2010 saw the Spanish Presidency of the European Union place the eradication of violence against women at the top of its priorities but much work still needs to be done. Indeed, whilst issues around workplace inequalities have been acknowledged for many years, statistics continue to make disturbing reading. In 1998, 30 to 50 per cent of women had experienced some form of violence at work, and in 2001 one in six women was a victim of harassment. This figure rose to an alarming number in 2002 with 56% of women experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. In the case of sexual harassment, female employees report cases of abuse more than three times as often as males.

Concern about the effects of workplace discrimination and harassment on the health and safety of workers has been growing over the last decade. Both third-party violence and harassment may have severely negative consequences for the individuals affected and their families, as well as being detrimental to society generally. Although this growing concern has led to better provision of information, there is still an urgent need to improve public and practitioner awareness, and to encourage better dissemination of the proven tools and procedures to prevent and manage these occupational risks.

Public Policy Exchange is proud to continue its equality platform with a special symposium on tackling gender-based discrimination and harassment in the workplace through exchanging best practices between leading practitioners, international organisations and major stakeholders. The Symposium will discuss effective ways to delineate an EU-wide framework for prevention and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate.

Infos et programme :


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