This project focuses on implementation of anti-harassment provisions in Bangladesh Labour Law in garment factories to ensure that women workers are protected from gender-based violence (GBV) in the workplace. A Bangladesh High Court verdict stipulated that workplaces with over 50 women workers should establish anti-harassment committees (AHCs). This verdict was also endorsed by the BGMEA. However, in reality, AHCs are scarce and women who are victims of sexual harassment often have no recourse.
In partnership with Fair Wear Foundation, Awaj is running a project on educating workers, factory management and other stakeholders on GBV, advocating for the establishment of AHCs in factories and setting up hotlines where women workers can report cases of harassment.
To date, AHCs have been set up in 13 factories as a result of this project. Awaj has created awareness among front-line management on sexual harassment and why they should take steps to combat it. It has developed capacity of women workers so that they can speak up against GBV and take leadership in solving this problem in their factories. Awaj has also helped created linkages between AHCs and other factory committees, such as Participation Committees and Safety Committees, so that they can work together to create women-friendly workplaces.
A 2018 report by Fair Wear Foundation on the outcomes and lessons learned from this project can be found here.