A Proactive Sexual Harassment Prevention Committee Brings About Change of Sexual Harassment
CARE International in Cambodia has been working with garment factory managers to ensure female workers feel safe from sexual harassment. Through the STOP project, they support workplaces develop positive policies and increase women’s confidence to stand up to sexual harassment and report it.
“After I joint training with CARE, I realized telling joke (sexist joke) which makes people feel not comfortable is sexual harassment and even touching someone without consent. These behaviours always happened in the factories but people used think it is normal.
I had no idea about what sexual harassment is until I joint with CARE’s project. I was not aware of the sexual harassment behaviours which happened in the factory.” Sophors, IT Compliance Officer at a Pennisula factory.
Sophors is assigned to be a factory focal point in coordinating sexual harassment prevention package with CARE Cambodia. He is also a member of factory Sexual Harassment Prevention Committee (SHPC).
Pennisula factory is a new factory of STOP project’s target. It fully adopted the sexual harassment prevention package from CARE Cambodia in Dec 2019.
Even it is a short period of time, this factory has great commitment to implementing the sexual harassment policy. The management team is very proactive to allow Sophors to join series of training with CARE on how to implement the policy properly along with ongoing technical coaching. With the new knowledge, Sophors put a lot of efforts and priority to provide training on sexual harassment to workers amid COVID-19 pandemic.
“Up to now, 40% of total workers received the training since January 2020 and I can see 70% to 80% of them understand and are confident to report of sexual harassment,” said Sophors.
“I observed that both management team and worker decrease saying sexiest joke and respect each other.” He added.
“What really makes me more confident on sexual harassment prevention is the complaint handling mechanisms which I can gain more understanding how to sensitively respond to sexual harassment case. I am now feel confident about it.” He confirmed.
Aside worker training, Sophors also coordinating with factory SHPC to promote awareness raising, share policy information/announcement, and post IEC materials in factory’s compound where workers can see and learn from them well.
Sophors did a very great job in catching up the process of implementing the policy well and proactive to implement the work plan. This can be a good example for factories to follow.
Worker training is very important and is the factory’s priority area to improve understanding and confidence of workers to speak up their concern and report the sexual harassment case. Sophors will lead his team to train all the workers for next year planning.
CARE also work with many other compliant leaders at the garment factory and support many of them like Sophors with support from Australian Government.
CARE’s work on the Gender Based Violence and Dignified Works is supported by the Australian Government and many other private donors.