[F]or every high profile Hollywood harassment incident, there are millions more occurring in everyday workplaces around the world, targeting women who lack the privilege and power to raise their voice about their experience or gain access to any legal recourse.
In fact, in Australia, we know that a disturbingly large proportion of the workforce sees such behaviour as acceptable. Research commissioned by the organisation I lead, CARE Australia, found that 27% of Australian men aged 18-24 think it is ‘Always or sometimes acceptable’ to pinch a colleague’s bottom or wolf-whistle at them*.
What the world’s women need now are stronger laws, and committed implementation of those laws, particularly in developing countries. The international community has the chance to come together and push the International Labour Organization (ILO) – the global body tasked with protecting workers around the world – to formulate a comprehensive set of regulations making it illegal for workplaces to be a place of abuse. CARE urges the Australian Government to push for the creation of a binding convention that bans workplace sexual harassment when the ILO meets later this month.