Preventing Violence and Harassment at Work

 

Garment factory managers in Cambodia are taking action to make women feel safer at work. CARE wants to work with more workplaces who see this as a priority.

Global media has shown that sexual harassment can take place in any industry. The garment supply chain is no exception. The situation can change if women and men, workers and employers, join together to create work cultures of respect, where harassment is not tolerated. Around the world, this shift is starting to take place—and the garment industry can play an important role.

Companies worldwide are committing to ensuring their workers are valued, respected and free from violence in the workplace. Violence against women is a cost for national economies, industry and individual businesses. CARE’s research in Cambodia estimated the indirect costs of sexual harassment through reduced productivity, revenue loss, and missed days of work could add up to as much as USD $89 million per year.*

We published What works? Reducing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: A Rapid Review of Evidence to support businesses wanting to change this.

In Cambodia, CARE worked extensively with government, industry and factory leaders to develop a sexual harassment prevention toolkit which is straightforward, practical and tailored to the constraints of the factory setting. Now in 22 factories in Cambodia, workplaces employing close to 40,000 workers are using CARE’s tools to send a clear message about what kind of behavior will not be tolerated. With support from the Australian Government, this is expanding to three more countries in Asia: Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. In Bangladesh, our engagement with women around factories has led to workers engaging management to take action against sexual harassment.

Global brands such as Levi Strauss & Co. are leading a shift to prevent and respond to harassment in their supply chains; investing in CARE’s sexual harassment prevention activities in factories they work with. We want to partner with more companies within the garment industry who wish to take steps to prevent sexual harassment in their value chains.

Looking globally, we engage with governments, unions and employers on the importance of strong legislation to protect workers from violence and harassment. Learn more about our global engagement to protect workers.

 

Learn why businesses want to work with CARE

 

See the impact of CARE’s sexual harassment prevention work

 

*More detailed figures can be found in the full report

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The Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) program, funded by Gap Inc., worked with young women in the garment industry in Cambodia.

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ILO Convention to End Violence

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“When the factory started to work on a solution, there were fewer cases [of sexual harassment] happening.”

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CARE works to improve workers' rights.

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The program, “Economic Empowerment for Female Garment Workers” is designed to research, identify, and test digital financial tools and deliver complementary education that can be scaled in the future.