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DOL strategies part of White House plan to end gender-based violence


Photo: Caiaimage/Martin Barraud/iStockphoto

Washington — Workplace-related strategies from the Department of Labor are part of a White House national plan to address gender-based violence.

In a blog post promoting the plan, DOL outlines five “key ways” it will collaborate with other federal agencies, including via work-related communications, to tackle the issue, which includes domestic abuse and sexual assault/harassment:

  • Shift workplace norms and practices to prevent gender-based violence and support employees affected by it.
  • Establish the federal government as a model employer for preventing and responding to gender-based violence in the workplace.
  • Build the capacity of employers, workplaces, unions and worker organizations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence – particularly in industries, occupations and work arrangements in which workers are more likely to experience it.
  • Improve the economic security of survivors of gender-based violence through access to good jobs with family-sustaining wages, benefits and workplace protections.
  • Increase access to – and awareness of – worker protections and policies to help survivors or those at risk of gender-based violence keep their job and maintain their economic security.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission research cited in the plan states that between 25% and 85% of women “have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, yet most cases are never reported formally.”

Further, the plan shows that factors such as occupational segregation and isolation within industries – including trucking, construction, agriculture and health care – increase female workers’ risk of experiencing gender-based violence.

The plan outlines seven pillars, each including several objectives, of the national strategy:

  • Prevention
  • Support, healing, safety and well-being
  • Economic security and housing stability
  • Online safety
  • Legal and justice systems
  • Emergency preparedness and crisis response
  • Research and data

“Effective prevention requires recognizing and addressing risk factors that may contribute to the likelihood that a person will perpetrate or experience gender-based violence,” the plan states. Efforts include “enhancing employer-led workplace initiatives to embed respectful, inclusive and safe environments through organizational structures, policies and workplace cultures.”

In a tweet, the White House says “freedom from domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence is a basic human right.”

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