VAWG in the Workplace
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the workplace is defined as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women in the workplace. As a young woman who is striving for a successful future, it is apparent that there are many issues centred around VAWG in the workplace despite the many efforts to amend this.
In our modern society it is disappointing to note that women are still being treated unfairly and not being given the respect they rightfully deserve. A joint Trades Union Council (TUC) and Everyday Sexism Project report, made for eye-opening reading, showing just how many women are affected by VAWG in the workplace. This report revealed that in 2016, 52% of women had experienced sexual harassment in their workplace, however only 1 in 5 of these cases were actually reported. What came as more of a shock was that 16% stated that they were treated worse after reporting their cases, with very few seeing a positive outcome.
I believe that no woman should ever have to feel unsafe in their place of work, yet despite acts put in place to try and eliminate the problem, such as the Equality Act of 2010, there does not seem to be much improvement. Due to so many women having to experience violence in the workplace, it often leads to anxiety, trauma and stress, and more often than not they do not feel like there is appropriate support for them to speak up about their experiences.
In the future I truly hope that we all see a significant improvement across workplaces, so no women or girl has to go to work in fear of witnessing or experiencing harassment. There are so many amazing organisations such as the Scottish Trades Union Council (STUC) Women's Committee and Close The Gap, who are constantly striving to make workplaces a safer place for all current and future generations of women.
Author - Hannah Malcolm-Gourley
TUC and Everyday Sexism Project. (2016). Still Just a Bit of Banter: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Available at: https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/SexualHarassmentreport2016.pdf