Lobby your MP to say #ThisIsNotWorking

Maly, an infirmary nurse at a garment factory in Cambodia, is a member of the factory’s sexual harassment committee and trains and supports her co-workers on how to recognise and take action against harassment

#MeToo drew attention to the sexual harassment and violence faced by women across many spheres of work, both in the UK and globally. Now, we need passionate people to help us say #TimesUp.

We’re coming together to demand an end to workplace harassment – and to ask our MPs to take action.

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You can make a big difference for women in workplaces around the world, by:

  • joining us in Westminster on Tuesday 5th March to lobby your MP in Parliament as part of our exciting day of action, OR
  • heading down to your MP’s constituency office for a meeting, in the run-up to International Women’s Day (Friday 8th March)

At the meeting you’ll ask your MP to publicly pledge to end workplace harassment in 2019. This commitment by MPs will put pressure on the government to take action and call #TimesUp on workplace harassment. 

Join us and help make workplaces safer for women

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What are we asking the UK government to do?

In the UK, we are asking the government to:

  • reinstate third-party harassment laws
  • introduce a duty on employers to prevent harassment

In the UK, more than half of women polled by the TUC had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Fawcett Society’s Sex Discrimination Law Review found that women in the UK who work in retail, hospitality, and many other sectors that deal with customers and clients on a daily basis currently have little protection from their employer when facing harassment from third parties.

That’s why CARE has been campaigning with the Centenary Action Group to demand that the UK government reinstate third-party harassment laws and introduce a duty on employers to prevent harassment.

Globally, we are asking the UK government to:

  • support a legally-binding convention that protects all workers

In Europe, between 40% and 50% of women experience sexual harassment at work, while across Asia and in Australia up to 40% of women suffer workplace sexual harassment. Yet more than one-third of the world's countries do not have any laws prohibiting workplace harassment and there is no international legal standard specifically for protecting women at work from these abuses. Workplace harassment is a global problem that requires a global response.

Last June, governments, employers’ organisations and trade unions met at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) – the UN agency in charge of enforcing labour standards – to agree a legally-binding convention to protect women from workplace harassment.

If this new global law is going to protect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable women, we need to make sure that the current draft of the convention is not watered down during the ILO negotiations this June. The UK government must back a version of the convention that contains the most inclusive definitions of ‘worker’ and ‘workplace’, so that all women around the world are protected.

Together, we can make 2019 the year we end violence and harassment at work.

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How can I push the government to make workplaces safer for women?

Meeting your MP in the run up to International Women’s Day, Friday 8th March, is a great opportunity to get this issue on the government’s radar. Come and join us in London on 5th March to lobby your MP in Parliament as part of our day of action, or arrange a meeting with your MP at their constituency office.

At the meeting you’ll ask your MP to publicly pledge to end workplace harassment in 2019. This commitment by MPs will put pressure on the Government to take action and call #TimesUp on workplace harassment.

Why now?

2019 could be the year we achieve a significant milestone on the path towards gender equality. This year, the government has two key opportunities to improve working conditions for women. The government has the chance to improve the UK’s current laws on workplace harassment. Globally, the ILO will meet in June to decide on the text of the convention.

Let’s use the run-up to International Women’s Day to make enough noise about workplace harassment, so that the government is pushed to harness these opportunities.

What will happen on the Parliamentary lobby day?

At 10.30 am on Tuesday 5th March, we’ll start the day at our nearby venue, Westminster Methodist Hall. You can expect to hear from amazing gender equality campaigners like Jess Philips MP, Maria Miller MP, and Nazma Akter to get you into the campaigning spirit! Then Helen Pankhurst will lead a training session and take you through her top tips for being a change-maker. Who better to learn from than the great-granddaughter of suffragette leader, Emmeline Pankhurst?

We will then go into Parliament for meetings with our MPs. Organisers will be on hand to guide you through the day – and make sure no one has to meet their MP on your own if you don’t want to.

After lobbying your MP, there’ll be a reception in Parliament to say a huge thank-you for all your hard work.

I can’t make the lobby day but want to meet my MP at their constituency office...

That’s great, thank you! Please choose that option on the sign-up form so we can be in touch with help and tips. Most MPs hold surgeries in their constituency office on Fridays so that residents like you can meet with them and speak about an issue close to your heart. We’ll help you set up a meeting and, if you’d like to join with other local supporters, we can make that happen.

How will I know what to say?

Don’t worry – our support team will be there every step of the way. From drafting emails to send to your MP, to a dedicated phone line for any questions and queries, we’ve got you covered! We’ll even give you a how-to guide so that you can tackle your MP like a conversational wizard.

How do I get to Parliament?

Most people will book their own travel to attend our Parliamentary lobby day. Alongside trains to London terminals, National Express and Megabus can help keep the costs down and arrive at Victoria Coach Station, less than 15 minute walk away from our meeting venue.

We don’t want anyone to be excluded because of the costs of travel from where they live. If you’re keen to come but just can’t afford the journey, please email lavin@careinternational.org with the title ‘Travel to Parliament’.

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