Speech by Lizbeth Cullity at the Violence in the Workplace Dialogue WorkshopDec 3, 2014
Honorable Prime Minister,
Commissioners of the PSC
CEO of PSC,
Heads of Government Ministries and Corporations
Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the UN Country Team in Samoa, I would like extend a warm welcome to all of you who have taken time out of your normal work schedule to be here this morning. This is an important workshop and partnership initiative between the ILO and the Public Service Commission of Samoa.
Let me begin by saying that the UN is fully committed to supporting the 16 Days of Activism and eliminating all forms of violence in the workplace. As UN Resident Coordinator, I am happy to inform you that the ILO now has an office in Samoa, opened in April this year to support its work with the Government and to pursue issues such as Gender Based Violence in the workplace. Therefore, I am very delighted to see the ILO pursue productive partnerships such as this very one with PSC on workplace violence.
There is growing international attention to gender-based violence, including in the agreed conclusions of the 57th session of the UN Commission of the Status of Women (2013) on the elimination and prevention of violence against women and girls. The 2013 report of the WHO has also indicated that 35% of women worldwide have experienced violence whether physical and or sexual. Leaders of eleven UN funds, programmes and specialised agencies including the ILO, committed to work together to end violence against women and girls. Eliminating gender inequalities in formal wage employment is seen as one way of addressing the problem.
I wish to share with you today a quote from ILO on violence at work: “Long ignored, denied or considered to be a harsh reality which just has to be accepted as part of life, it is only recently that violence at work has started to receive the attention that it deserves as a serious safety and health hazard which has a high cost for victims and enterprise performance alike.”
This initiative today signals the support of the ILO and the UN system to advancing discussions on these issues.
I wish all participants and partners a meaningful exchange of ideas, productive sessions through sharing of your vast experiences and knowledge on this important issue. It is my hope that you will continue this partnership, as well as create new and durable, genuine partnerships and build new alliances on this issue of gender based violence in the workplace.
Soifua ma ia Manuia