Briefing 7.2
Practical strategies for integrating gender-based violence into occupational safety and health

1. Introduction

Summary of key points

  • Sexual harassment and violence are significant safety and health risks.
  • Gender-based violence affects women’s physical, sexual and reproductive health and can result in lost days from work, poor motivation and women leaving their jobs.
  • Inadequate toilets, limits on use of toilets and toilet breaks can have health consequences for women, especially pregnant women, such as increased risk of cystitis and other infections.
  • Employers and managers have a key role to play in changing workplace behaviour and in addressing the health-related consequences of gender-based violence in the workplace, including raised level of HIV/AIDS infection.
  • Addressing health-related issues can help to retain workers and promote a positive working environment, which is good for company productivity.

This briefing outlines the importance of sexual harassment and violence as an integral part of occupational safety and health measures. Sexual harassment and violence are significant occupational risks facing women and men in the workplace.