On 27 October, in the framework of the CARVE project, Belgian enterprises, associations and public bodies met up at the Central Economic Council in Brussels on the invitation of the European think & do tank POUR LA SOLIDARITÉ. At stake? The participation of Belgian companies to the fight against gender-based violence. The morning of work showed encouraging results.
State of play in Belgium
The first part of this morning of work was dedicated to an assessment of the current fight against gender-based violence: who does what? how? why? On this occasion, POUR LA SOLIDARITÉ – PLS introduced the key findings of the national study and took this opportunity to remind a few figures.
In Belgium, 41% of the GBV are verbal violences. One woman out of five has experience physical and/or sexual violence by a current and/or a previous partner since the age of 15. They are more than 1 out of 20 women to have experienced these violences in the 12 months before the interview.
Despite all that, very few of the enterprises have seized upon the topic: lack of knowledge on the issue of violence against women, poor understanding of the interest companies would have to take action, absence of stakeholders trained to detect and support victims or perpetrators in companies, privacy issue, etc. Reasons not to act are numerous and often legitimate.
Recommendations from the participants
Facing these challenges and after the clarifying records of three major Belgian companies – Solvay, Securex and the Erasmus Hospital – the participants formulated recommendations intended to different categories of stakeholders. Here are a few examples of what came out from the participative workshop.
- Colleagues and trade unions: bring the topic within the agenda of the social dialogue, be a first listening ear, suggesting trainings to raise awareness among all the staff members…
- Managers: giving a clear message against gender-based violence, offering information in strategic work areas (restaurant, coffee machine, WC…), carrying campaigns on the occasion of the 25 November, training staff members dedicated to the prevention of psychosocial risks…
- Public bodies: integrating a clause dedicated to the eradication of violence against women in the Equality label granted to firms, developing sensitization campaigns intended to companies…
All these recommendations will be integrated within the Belgian national study to be published by the 25th of November. The study will be published on PLS website, the European Observatory for Diversity and the CARVE project website. In the meantime, it is also possible to grin and bear it by giving a look to the photo album of the Brussels CARVE seminar and read the last CARVE newsletter!