The overall success of Government’s Gender-based Violence (GBV) In the Workplace Project, being undertaken in collaboration with UN Women, will depend on various partners recognising its importance and working together to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work.
This message was conveyed by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, as the two-year project was launched yesterday on the Zoom platform, in the presence of representatives from public, private, non-governmental and trade union organisations.
Urging persons not to become desensitised to the evil that is gender-based violence, Minister Jordan said: “We have engaged our stakeholders, including faith-based organisations, businesses, workers’ unions, workers, directly and women’s and men’s groups. We know that the elimination of gender-based violence and harassment needs a multi-faceted response that includes all sectors and agents of the society.”
Lauding the commitment of UN Women to partner with Government to put the issue on ‘the front burner’, the Labour Minister stressed he was also heartened that key stakeholders in the public, private and the third sectors participated in the official launch, and would be crucial in the project’s execution.
He noted that the design of a tool kit and training programmes would be collaboratively developed, and would focus on how such violence impacts the cultural and work environment.
“We will develop strategies to ensure that the message reaches groups in our society who may be marginalised and disadvantaged, and whose voices are not being heard,” he stated.
Speaking about the charter to be established, he stressed it would seek endorsement at the level of the Social Partnership because Government wanted everybody to be on board.
“Barbados is well known for its social dialogue and we believe that for this project to be effective in reducing and ultimately eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work, then all sectors of society need to be on board. We need a change in the culture.
“With training, we can overcome all the obstacles and we are hoping therefore that through the signing of this charter, we will have a commitment at the governmental, organisational and at the individual level. And this is going to be an important aspect of this project,” the Labour Minister said.