The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed yesterday between the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations and UN Women will see these two entities collaborating to enhance knowledge on gender-based violence in the workplace.
There will also be the development of tool kits, manuals, training aids, as well as the building of greater awareness of conventions and practices already in train, like the Gender Bureau helpline.
This was disclosed by Representative, Multi-Country Office, Caribbean, Tonni Brodber. She acknowledged that although Barbados had not yet ratified ILO Convention No. 190 Violence and Harassment in the World of Work or Convention No. 189 on Domestic Work, it was yet ahead of the game.
Ms. Brodber said: “It is incredible that the Government of Barbados is taking the steps outlined in the Convention already; steps noted also in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Bajan Platform for Action.”
Adding that the UN would also support the understanding of what the economic costs of violence are, she said: “We need prevalence data in Barbados to do that and that is what we will hope to do. We also want to ensure that no one is left behind by better understanding the needs of persons in the hospitality and service sector, domestic workers, security workers and gas station attendants.”
Calling it the first step of the partnership, Ms. Brodber noted that it would not be successful without the collaboration of the Barbados Workers’ Union and the Domestic Workers Division, with whom they hoped to support the development of specific policies on gender-based violence.
She also noted that UN Women planned to support Government’s development of a charter that would seek to effect change in the ingrained culture relating to gender-based violence in Barbados.
Pointing out that it was proposed that the charter be signed with the Social Partnership of Barbados, the UN Representative said this was “in an effort to give more prominence to the issue of gender-based violence”.