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International Women’s Day 2022: Ending Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

Gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) is defined as violence and harassment directed at people because of their sex or gender. Rooted in discriminatory gender norms, institutions and laws, and buttressed by a lack of accountability for perpetrators, GBVH occurs in all societies as a means of control, subjugation and exploitation that reflects and reinforces gender inequality. Buoyed by the resurgence of the #MeToo movement in late 2017, and with the support of ABA policy adopted in 2018 in June 2019, the International Labor Organization adopted Convention 190 and Recommendation 206 concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment. International Labor Convention 190 is the first binding international labor standard to comprehensively address these abuses in the workplace. The Convention and the Recommendation take a feminist and gender-responsive approach, recognizing that women and other workers experiencing multiple forms of exclusion and discrimination are facing the highest rates of violence and harassment and need to be centered in the employer policies and national laws drafted to eliminate it.

In recognition of International Women's Day, the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice hosted a webinar focused on this new global labor standard and how it can be used to bolster efforts by the U.S. government, employers, and workers' organizations to prevent and address GBVH in the world of work.


  • Caroline Bettinger-López, Senior Advisor on Gender & Equality, Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice; Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law; Director, Human Rights Clinic, University of Miami School of Law; Faculty Chair, Human Rights Program, University of Miami School of Law

  • Muthoni Kamuyu-Ojuolo, Program Director, Women and Girls Empowered, ABA Rule of Law Initiative


  • Robin R. Runge, Equality and Inclusion Co-Director, Solidarity Center; Adjunct Professor, The George Washington University Law School; Vice Chair, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Co-Sponsors: ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, ABA International Law Section, ABA Rule of Law InitiativeABA Section of State and Local Government Law, ABA Young Lawyers Division


Presentations: Muthoni Kamuyu-Ojuolo

ABA Policy on Gender Based Violence in the Workplace

Women and Girls Empowered Program

Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021

Text of ILO C190 and R206

Fact Sheet about GBVH in the World of Work

Fact sheet about ILO C190

Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce

Executive Order on Establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council

What A Feminist International Labor Standard Can Teach The U.S. About Addressing Sexual Harassment In The Workplace | Robin R. Runge

Presidential Memorandum: Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce

Guidance for Agency-Specific Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Policies | Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

Wage Global Country Assessments: Honduras and El Salvador

Stopping Gender Based Violence and Harassment at Work: The Campaign for an ILO Convention | Jane Pillinger, Robin Runge, and Chidi King

Workplaces Respond to Domestic & Sexual Violence | National Resource Center

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