French postal operator La Poste Groupe has reaffirmed its commitment to fighting violence against women by strengthening its partnership with France’s National Federation of Women’s Rights Information Centers – FNCIDFF, Fédération Nationale des Centres d'Information sur les Droits des Femmes et des Familles – and joining the One In Three Women campaign – the first European network of companies dedicated to detecting and preventing violence.The news came as UN Women – the global champion for gender equality – campaigned to end violence against women and girls as part of its “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence,” which was launched on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and ran through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
“The fight against domestic violence is a very serious subject that affects our entire society,” said Florence Wiener, Director of Social Strategy and Quality of Life at Work at La Poste Groupe. “In France, one in 10 women suffer physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most often at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. Companies are an appropriate place to combat this problem, as employees spend a third of their time at their place of work, where contact with their aggressors is reduced. La Poste considers that it has a duty to take an active role in this fight.”
La Poste has been taking this “active role” for many years, according to Wiener, by taking actions to combat domestic violence and provide support to postal workers who are victims. “Through its 200 social assistants, who liaise with specialized associations throughout the territory, La Poste offers psychological support, advice on access to rights, financial assistance and paid days of absence to carry out the necessary formalities,” explained Wiener. “When necessary, it is also possible for victims to change their place of work and receive assistance with relocation for themselves and their children.”
La Poste also provides information to the public via its post offices on emergency contact numbers and the special 3919 number, which has been implemented by the French authorities. More recently, La Poste has also publicized the contact details of information centres dedicated to the rights of women and families.
In its partnership with the FNCIDFF and with the support of the French Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities, La Poste supports women who need to regain their financial independence. “To this end, La Poste will undertake initiatives to help such women find employment in the processing and delivery of mail,” Wiener added.
Meanwhile, in its role as an active member of the One In Three Women network, which is coordinated by FACE (Fondation Agir Contre l’Exclusion) – a foundation for action against exclusion – La Poste has signed a charter against domestic violence. “In so doing, La Poste has reiterated its commitment to fighting violence against women and has enhanced various initiatives already in place,” Wiener explained.
“By joining this network of 80 businesses, La Poste will benefit from the experience of the One In Three Women network, from best practices to better detect and prevent violence, and from training and awareness tools aimed at managers and its HR department,” she added.
Wiener also noted that it is not just women that are supported through its domestic violence initiatives. “La Poste is aware that men can be victims too,” she said. “For this reason, the group provides support to all postal workers who have suffered domestic violence, regardless of their gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. However, most victims are women.”
Wiener believes that La Poste is well positioned to support victims of domestic violence since it is present throughout the country, every day. “With 180,000 employees – 52.7% of whom are women – it is an unfortunate fact that members of La Poste’s workforce regularly suffer domestic violence,” she said. “La Poste can identify these employees, to provide them with support and to guide them towards specialized associations. La Poste currently provides support to several hundred people every year.”