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. These companies understand the business case for this. 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.* 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.

CARE has worked extensively with government, industry and factory leaders on the ground in Cambodia to develop a sexual harassment prevention toolkit which is straightforward, practical and tailored to the constraints of the factory setting. So far, CARE has raised awareness of the importance of preventing sexual harassment with representatives from 75 factories in Cambodia and 13 have used CARE’s prevention package to implement new workplace policies that empower women to speak up. This means factories employing over 20,000 workers are already sending a clear message about what kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.

With support from the Australian Government, CARE is now adapting this model in three more countries in Asia: Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. We have also published What works? Reducing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: A Rapid Review of Evidence, which drives our approach to this work. We want to partner with more companies within the garment industry who wish to take steps to prevent sexual harassment in their value chains.

 

See the impact of CARE’s sexual harassment prevention work

 

Learn why businesses want to work with CARE

 

Learn more about the STOP project

Hear from staff working in the Mekong region to learn more about how CARE is expanding this 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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“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.