Nurjan knows what it feels like to be harassed at work…
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.
Nurjan told us: “I believe making clothes is an art. Because of this industry, a woman like me is still alive without any family support. Because I am a single woman and not guarded by any man, my supervisor thought I was vulnerable and exposed. He used to touch me at work. Verbal abuse is also extremely common. If we make a mistake, he compares 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.”
Photo by Fabeha Monir/ActionAid