The National Organization for Women (NOW) announces today the #EnoughIsEnough campaign, led by NOW and coalition partners including Feminist Majority, National Congress of Black Women, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Legal Momentum and UNITE HERE. #EnoughIsEnough will bring together different voices and perspectives to develop effective strategies aimed at bringing about substantive change to prevent, address and remedy sexual harassment in the workplaces and schools.
#EnoughIsEnough will have a special focus on low-paid workers, who cannot afford to confront their bosses or talk to the press. Nearly two-thirds of the 20 million low-wage workers are women, and more than a quarter experience sexual harassment on the job.
Advocates and allies are committed to supporting the survivors who are breaking their silence to make sure that their brave disclosures result in meaningful change. To achieve this, the #EnoughIsEnough campaign partners will convene a one-day summit in February 2018 to discuss and craft initiatives to end misogyny and sexual violence against women, including gender based violence in the workplace and educational institutions.
“Over the last few months, very brave women have brought attention to a toxic problem that has been rampant in our society for a very long time,” says Toni Van Pelt, president of NOW. “The conversation about sexual harassment and assault needs to include both the stories of survivors and new ways to address and prevent hostile environments in workplaces and school in order to end the culture of abuse of women.”
“Sexual harassment and assault is a serious problem in the hospitality industry, and that is why since 2012, UNITE HERE has been fighting for and winning new protections to keep our workers safe,” says Maria Elena Durazo, General Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights, and Diversity, UNITE HERE.
“Our union has been combating sexual harassment at work before the national conversation caught up to us. We are incredibly proud of our dozens of UNITE HERE union hotel housekeepers who had the courage to not only speak out about what happened to them, but go on to lead and win campaigns for new protections in the hospitality industry.”
“Beyond just the workplace, we cannot leave out students and educational institutions when we’re talking about rampant sexual harassment and assault,” says Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “One in five women students are survivors of campus sexual assault. The movement on campuses, led by student activists, is growing and cannot be ignored.”
“In order to change the culture around sexual violence, we must also center the voices of women of color whose stories often fall through the cracks in and out of their communities,” says E. Faye Williams, President of the National Congress of Black Women. “We need to create a space that allows women of color the opportunity to speak on solutions that will work for the specific needs of their communities.”
“Women employed in every industry and sector, including agriculture and other low-paid positions, have historically confronted wide-spread workplace sexual violence,” says Mónica Ramírez, President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. “It is more important than ever before that we unite to find solutions to ensure that all women can work with dignity and without fear of violence against them.”
“We are calling for a radical shift in how our government and institutions investigate complaints of harassment and sexual violence,” says Carol Robles-Roman, President of Legal Momentum. “We insist that a renewed culture of system-wide accountability and enforcement of basic rights take hold with national partners leading the way.”
The #EnoughIsEnough Campaign will propose actions that will promote early intervention; improve policies that outline responsibility and accountability and that ultimately remove abusers from their positions of power; and continue to suggest ways to rectify the economic harm many victims experience as a result of sexual harassment and abuse.
“The old ways of dealing with sexual harassment and assault—secrecy, avoidance, denial and excuses—are crumbling in real time,” says Toni Van Pelt. “New solutions are needed. We must be tough on perpetrators of sexual harassment and assault and tough on the causes as well. Men must no longer treat women as objects but with respect as equals.”