Companies against violence against women
Fundación Paraguaya and the Stoplight Network of Companies have always spoken out in favor of ending violence against women and have committed to initiatives as part of this fight, which translates into various actions, such as addressing and measuring this type of violence with the tool of the Poverty Stoplight, in measuring the country costs of violence in companies led by the German Cooperation (GIZ) and as a company recognized with the Safe Company Seal by the Ministry of the Woman.
During 2020, the change that the pandemic imposed on us in terms of organization, such as the transfer of meetings, workshops, and training to a virtual format, also allowed us to offer training spaces to our stakeholders to continue raising awareness on the issue and make a call to action to allies from the information.
The Fundación Paraguaya has offered webinars on topics such as “Prevention of violence against women” and a workshop on “Building a Support Route in the event of violence”, aimed at collaborators and managers of HR and CSR of companies that make up the Network. Our commitment to the cause leads us to sensitize and involve more companies, considering the impact that violence against women has in work and business environments, as we can see in the following extract: “integrating the various cost categories, it is found that Violence Against Women in relationships is costing Paraguay $ 1,450.6 million, that is, the equivalent of 5.12% of its GDP. Of the country costs of Violence Against Women, 38% are borne by private companies, 48% are borne by the women themselves, their homes, and their micro-enterprises, and 13.7% by the State. ” (Source: Country-costs of violence against women in Paraguay, GIZ, 2017).
Given the situation of several companies that were aware of cases of violence among their collaborators but were unaware of the procedures indicated to intervene or lacked an internal policy that defines the steps to follow, our role from the Fundación was to provide key knowledge and basic tools to act upon a case, through the workshop on building the support route.
Building, keeping in mind and communicating a Support Route within companies is of utmost importance and with the workshop, it was sought not only to inform, but to raise awareness and encourage companies to address the issue, but above all to demolish the myth that private companies are oblivious to the impact generated by violence in the workplace and to make known to those who work in areas such as HR or Corporate Social Responsibility, that they do not need to be experts on the subject of violence to start a campaign, or open a channel of containment and support for collaborators on the issue of violence. If a company has the willingness and participates in a network of allied organizations and companies that address the issue, working on violence may be easier than we think.
The Stoplight Network of Companies not only convenes companies that already have a path in the fight and awareness of violence against women, but also has strategic allies such as the Ministry of Women and consultants with whom on several occasions they have carried out activities and events to train those organizations willing to commit to the cause. The Fundación Paraguaya, through campaigns, projects for the attention and prevention of violence, can support the promotion of non-violence against women. Finally, we emphasize the words of a colleague from the Network: “nothing that is spent on a non-violence against women project is a lot, if we save lives by doing so.”