Tackling violence against both the women that nurses care for and nurses themselves is the focus of a blog to mark International Women’s Day by NZNO domestic violence spokeswoman Carol Beaumont.

On International Women’s Day 2018 the NZNO affirms its commitment to working to remove barriers to full equality for women.

We particularly seek to tackle the issue of gender based violence – at work, at home and in the community. Our members see the impact of gender-based violence in their roles as health professionals and too many also experience violence themselves. Interpersonal violence is a significant problem in our country and in particular, violence against women remains underreported. It brings devastating consequences for victims, their families and the wider community.

Globally unions are committed to addressing issues of workplace violence. Our international nursing bodies – the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and Global Nurses United are focused on reducing the workplace violence faced by nurses. This is an issue that is a terrible reality faced by many of our members, the majority of whom are women.

We are also strongly committed to the campaign of the International Trade Union Confederation campaign to Stop Gender Based Violence at Work.

All of these campaigns are timely, with the global outpouring of concern about issues of violence and harassment faced by women workers across all sectors and industries. #MeToo has become a worldwide phenomenon. News presenter Alison Mau is spearheading the movement here with #metoonz.

The reality is that over a third of women – 818 million women globally – over the age of 15 have experienced sexual or physical violence at home, in their communities or in the workplace (Source: The World Health Organisation).

In June this year the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will take a huge step towards outlawing gender-based violence by discussing an international labour standard on ‘violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work’. The ITUC campaign has two components: to build critical support for the adoption of an ILO Convention on this issue and strengthen union action in helping to eradicate gender-based violence from the world of work.

NZNO is committed to working on both of these components. We will be urging the Government and business leaders to show their support for such an international labour standard. More broadly, we have a comprehensive plan that includes negotiating with employers on working to eliminate violence in the workplace and to support workers who are victims of domestic violence; supporting legislative initiatives, including Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence – Victims Support Bill; using every opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of violence in the first instance and; and developing the role of workplace leaders to advocate for change in their workplaces and support victims

Carol Beaumont is NZNO’s spokesperson on domestic violence.


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