GBV a No Go at the Workplace!

Fellow: Hameeda Deedat

Grant Year: 2020

Location: South Africa (National)

Organization: National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI)

Project title: Congress of South African Trade Unions Adopts Comprehensive Workplace-based Gender-Based Violence Strategy: GBV a No Go at the Workplace!

Project summary: NALEDI will create safer working conditions for women across South Africa by advocating with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to adopt a comprehensive policy to address all forms of gender-based violence (GBV). Despite South African laws which prohibit any form of sexual harassment or violence in the workplace, a 2018 survey found that at least 30% of women experienced some form of sexual harassment in their places of work. 

Trade unions in South Africa have recently begun to address workplace violence, making inroads with the development of a manual on sexual harassment and by training leadership and membership across COSATU and its affiliates. While these achievements are encouraging, so far efforts to address GBV within trade unions have been limited to sexual harassment and not other forms of GBV women may experience in the workplace. In order to more fully address GBV in the workplace, NALEDI is advocating for the COSATU Executive Committee, Gender Committee, and affiliates to adopt a comprehensive workplace-based GBV strategy that addresses all forms of GBV at the workplace nationally by September 2021. If successful, this advocacy could protect the health and wellbeing of over 500,000 female workers across South Africa.