Passionate to Support and Motivate Survivors of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Thorn Yan, 39 years old, was born in Phnom Penh and currently, she is living with her husband and two daughters. She dropped out of school at grade 8 due to poverty in her family. She has been working in the factory since 2011 and has worked as a line supervisor for 10 years now.
In the factory, Yan is a line supervisor who manages between 100 to 120 factory workers in her sewing team. She pays a lot of attention to the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. Through CARE’s Worker Well-Being(WWB) project, she has engaged as a member of the Factory Training Team(FTT) and Sexual Harassment (SH) Committee since 2017. Through these volunteer roles, Yan has been actively involved in facilitating the awareness campaign to promote gender equality and sexual harassment prevention in the workplace. More than 500 factory workers have learned much from her efforts over the past few years. She is very passionate to the works of sexual harassment prevention.
“In 2019, I successfully intervened on a case of verbal and physical harassment between a woman worker and the mechanics who repair the sewing machines in my workplace. A woman worker was harassed by the mechanics, she felt afraid and uncomfortable with the situation. She kept silent because she was concerned of losing job when she spoke up. When she reported this case to me, I encouraged her and immediately called for a meeting with the perpetrators to talk about their behavior which had the negative effects to others. After the meeting, they realized their mistake and apologized to the worker on what they did. Afterwards, they participated in the SH awareness training session in the factory as well”, Yan said.
Through the awareness training sessions, the workers have increased their understanding of sexual harassment, and the survivors feel more confident to speak up after the sexual harassment committees were set up in the factories. She said that she was proud of being a member of the factory training team and sexual harassment committees to play an important role to promote workers wellbeing at her work place. “Supporting and encouraging the survivors is what we have to work on, it’s really significant for them; don’t be judgmental of the survivors. These are difficult circumstances, they need our support, do not blame them” Yan said.
She added that “I appreciate what I’m working at my workplace. Through the engagement with the WWB project, I have improved my confidence to address the sexual harassment issues in the workplace’.