The UNI MEI Global Women Working Group met online on 11 December to discuss the situation of gender equality in the pandemic.

Unions reported that violence and harassment have increased recently, and many unions are doing a lot of work to combat sexual harassment as well as to support those who have been victims of sexual harassment. The Group heard about a project in Sweden, in which the union and the employers address sexual harassment together. Based on their research, awareness-raising is making a difference as people are becoming more aware of sexual harassment and of what type of behaviours should be recognised as such. This project also aims to provide reconciliation between the victim and the offender, to offer the parties the opportunity to find a joint view of what has happened and for the offender to take responsibility for their actions.

Here you can download material in English of the project that can be a support in the work for a more equal and norm-creative workplace, free from all forms of harassment.

The Group further discussed remote working, and how to manage one’s time and keep work-life balance when the lines between work and free time have blurred for many.

Despite the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19, it is important not to step back from our objectives of empowering women within unions and in the industry and of fighting for the equal treatment of all workers, regardless of their gender. Unions continue to provide training to their members and to campaign for issues such as abolishing the gender pay gap.