Nurjan knows what it feels like to be harassed at work...
“My supervisor used to touch me at work. If we made a mistake, he’d compare us with sex workers and the factory with a brothel. We are workers who are earning money by working hard, we should not be treated in this way.” Nurjan – Garment’s worker
Nurjan (pseudonym), 26-years-old, has been a garment worker in Bangladesh for almost a decade. She works as a senior machine operator for an average of 60 hours a week. She says she got married at a very young age and is now separated from her husband. At work, the conditions are tough. Although women make up the majority of the workforce, they have no separate toilets and face regular harassment from male supervisors.
In an industry rife with power imbalances and where 8 in 10 workers have experienced or witnessed sexual violence and harassment, she believes this has put her at greater risk of abuse.
Photo by Fabeha Monir/ActionAid Bangladesh – 2019
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€15 a month could help train a woman like Nasima to provide advice, training and psychosocial support to workers and survivors of violence or harassment in their community.
Nasima runs a cafe in Dhaka where she supports garment workers, mainly women, to understand labour law and their rights.
She mentions that women who attend the café feel more confident to challenge poor treatment at work:
“They are now more aware, sensitive and vocal about different issues. They recognise injustices and stand up for themselves and others. The workers now are pushing the factory management to be compliant with the laws and regulations. They come to the cafes to share their stories that they cannot share with anyone else. The cafes serve as safe spaces for them.”