Zero Tolerance for Workplace Violence


#UnitedWeStand to end violence against women.  In partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Women Leadership Platform, where we are one of the Founding Partners, we held a roundtable meeting to share policies, guides, solutions, and best practices for organizations to hit their zero tolerance for workplace violence target on November 22nd in a hybrid event in Istanbul and online.


 We Have No Time to Wait


It will take close to 300 years for the gender gap to close- if progress is made at the current -snail- pace without intervention. 

International reports point to Gender-Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH) as one of the biggest challenges to reaching gender equality:  

  • Every 11 minutes a woman or a girl is killed by a family member.
  • 1 in 2 women does not feel safe walking alone in the nighttime.
  • 1 in 3 women (WW) says she is subjected to physical and/or sexual violence in her lifetime.

The pandemic amplified by conflicts and the climate crisis led to higher levels of depression, food insecurity, as well as violence. Violence against women prevails to be a critical public health and essential human rights problem.  In Turkey, the outlook is not brighter. 4 in every 10 women report they experience physical or sexual violence.


Workplace Harassment and Violence Are One of the Biggest Challenges for Women to Enter and Stay in the Workforce


As we work hard to create a talent pipeline for women to enter the workforce, workplace harassment and violence are one of the big leakage reasons for engagement and retention at work:

  • Half of the women in the UK and 2/3rd of the women aged between 18-24 report they experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • In Turkey, studies report that %62 of women experienced at least one type of violence within the last 3 months (2020).

According to the ILO, employment of women has decreased by 4,2% between 2019 and 2020, resulting in 54 million women losing their jobs.




Women Leadership Platform Roundtable on Zero Tolerance for Workplace Violence


In partnership with the ILO, we have listened directly to the ILO team about the ILO Convention on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work (C190). Ebru Özberk Anlı,  ILO   Türkiye Office, Senior Programme Manager, gave us a great overview and Dr. Ceyhun Güler of  Dokuz Eylül University presented the policy paper on zero tolerance for violence and good practices.  Then we heard from public and private sector companies on good practices. Our speakers were Özen Tümer, Economist at EBRD Turkey,     Ebru Taşçıoğlu, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Capabilities at Enerjisa, Zelal Yalçın Küçük, Social Policy Centre Coordinator at İBB İPA and Zeynep Neyza Akçabay, Deputy Secretary General at Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. 


Your Guide is Here: ILO Convention on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work (C190)


ILO Convention on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work (C190) provides a very comprehensive framework for Zero Tolerance for Violence.

C190 is the first international standard that aims to put an end to violence and harassment in the world of work shaping and recognizing a future of work for everyone based on dignity, and respect, free from violence and harassment.

ILO C190 is revolutionary as it largely closes the global regulatory gap on workplace sexual harassment. It recognizes that violence and harassment in the world of work can constitute a human rights violation or abuse, is a threat to equal opportunities, and is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work.



You can find the recommendation concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work here.

C190 provides rich guidance to organizations to provide policies and programs for zero tolerance for workplace violence. This list can get you started:

  1. Carry out prevention measures that address gender-based violence, ensuring that risk assessments on violence and harassment are gender-responsive and result in gender-responsive prevention plans.
  2. Address the underlying factors that lead to sexual harassment such as long working hours, production pressures, unreasonable deadlines, work culture, and work organization that lead to risks for women workers.
  3. Draw up a comprehensive workplace policy on ending violence and harassment, including complaints systems and measures to prevent and end violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment.
  4. Introduce a workplace sexual harassment committee, and ensure that a complaints system is in place that is trusted by workers; implement formal and informal procedures to resolve complaints, and hold perpetrators accountable.
  5. Carry out information and awareness raising for all workers, and training for managers and supervisors, on preventing and ending violence and harassment.
  6. Provide support for victims of violence and harassment, including sexual harassment, counseling, and paid leave.
  7. Provide support to victims of domestic violence through paid domestic violence leave (10 days, extended in exceptional circumstances), work adjustments, risk assessment, safety planning, and assistance with financial and housing support in an emergency


Join Us at the Women Leadership Platform


We are here to support you every step of the way. You can find a rich library of resources and references on our website.

Women Leadership Platform’s (WLP) objective is to provide a learning and development network for private sector leaders in Turkey through the exchange of experience and best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) programs with a specific focus on gender. Participating companies would like to promote a corporate culture towards ensuring diversity and equal opportunities in the workplace.

WLP aims to bring private sector leaders together to discuss all those challenges faced by women with a view to providing a network for the exchange of experience and inspiration from one another to scale up the best practices and contribute better outcomes in women’s employment and leadership.

TurkishWIN (Turkish Women’s International Network), KAGİDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association), and UPS Turkey launched the Women Leadership Platform (WLP) in 2014. In line with its mission, EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) joined WLP as a partner in 2019. WLP continues to gather many institutions through platform meetings with inspiring themes and good practices.


You can also join TurkishWIN as a corporate member to work with our team on your DEI goals.  To explore more, visit our website. 

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