United Nations International Labor Organization: Taking on New Forms

Article excerpt

A RECENT report of the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO), titled "Equality at Work: Tackling the Challenges" describes the global picture of the struggle to overcome discrimination in the workplace as a mixture of ups and downs. "People are not only being discriminated against based on their gender, race, and religion, but also on newer criteria such as age, sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS status, and disability," the report said. It warned that unless these barriers to equality are fully addressed, they can prevent societies from harnessing the full potential of today's globalized economy.

The study noted gender gaps in employment and pay and cited the need for policies that consider work and family responsibilities to address the issue. One of the key indicators in determining improvement in the plight of women in workplaces is the availability of good quality jobs for women in the legislative, senior, or managerial posts, coupled with higher rates of participation, which signify a drop in discriminatory barriers.

While the condemnation of discrimination in employment and occupation these days has elicited an almost universal response, as evidenced by improvements in this regard in most of the 180 ILO member states, there is an urgent need to "stamp out such discrimination in the face of a world that appears increasingly unequal, insecure, and unsafe," the study said. …